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[5/31/05 Monday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
California Assembly Bookburning Bill 756 The California Assembly would ban K-12 "instructional materials" of more than 200 pages (Jim Sanders, Sacbee). (There is already a textbook weight limiting provision.) "AB 756 was approved by a vote of 42-28, with most Republicans opposing the measure." The bill would exclude The Federalist Papers, the Bible, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, innumerable classic novels, just for starters. What next? Vocabulary limits? Pictures/page required ratios? The teachers protesting the Governor now have more deserving targets. Assembly member Jackie Goldberg is its sponsor.
Text, legislative history; it's now in the Senate.

Following the Sacbee report, other reports on this bill have referred to its "textbook" restrictions in length, while the bill's text refers more broadly to "instructional materials." Thus, books of American political or historical documents, short stories, poems, or memoirs more than 200 pages in length would be forbidden. The number of books that could not be purchased by the California public schools would be rather impressive: Frederick Douglass's Autobiography, virtually any classic novel one can think of, and any book by Winston Churchill and any other great history.

The dog that didn't bark:

No position on AB 756 has been taken by Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction, or by education groups ranging from the California Teachers Association to the California School Boards Association.

Yet another act of statesmanship by Jack O'Connell. This cowardice certainly justifies the Governor's branding of him as one of Sacramento's "three stooges." See also Dan Walters' criticism here.

Brian Janiskee and I have written a book on California politics which is intended for use as a university-level textbook. It is 174 pp. long, so advanced high school courses might still adopt it, under the Goldberg regime. Unfortunately, our book bears an endorsement from National Review, which will put it on the Verboten list. Our other book on California, a collection of articles on the constitutional history and current politics of the State, approaches 400 pages, so it would be out. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/27/05 Friday]

[Frank Pastore - radio talk show host]12:35 am [link]
Carl's Jr: Be Careful what you wish for From Monday’s Los Angeles Times,

Claudia Caplan, chief marketing officer for Mendelsohn Zein Advertising in Los Angeles, said the agency designed the commercial to play off Hilton's notoriety and grab the attention of Carl's Jr.'s target demographic of 18-to-34-year-old men.

“Look, we're never going to have McDonald's advertising budget or Burger King's budget," Caplan said. "Whatever we do has to have an effect that is multiplied over several platforms. It needs to be more than just a television commercial.”

OK. That makes my decision easy.

I’m male, but I’m not 18-34, so I guess Carls Jr. doesn’t want my money.

Nor the money of my wife, my daughter, my church, and all my friends and neighbors.

I’ll be sure to let my radio audience know as well. Thanks.

By the way, Mendelsohn, you guys did the mechanical bull commercial for Carls Jr. too. Do you do anything other than porn? [go to Pastore's Blog]

[5/26/05 Thursday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:05 am [link]
Raise Conflicts with 'Living Within Your Means'
I believe it is a mistake for any Republican legislator to embrace the raises being offered by the  Citizens Compensation Commission. It creates a major contradiction with the current budget impasse, as well as the "Live Within Your Means" initiative that has been placed on the ballot for the 'possible' November election.

Today I started a 'roll call' of the Republican leadership in the "Belly of the Beast", asking who is going to accept the raise and who is going to turn the raise down for the time being. As it stands right now, I've only found ONE Republican legislator who has said no to the 12% pay raise.

Congratulations to State Senator Jeff Denham of (R - Merced), this morning on my show he openly declined the raise at this time.

To clarify, I'm not against the election officials getting a raise, but not at this time - not until we have a balanced (determined) budget and a reliable revenue program. The GOP members should hold a press conference and decline the increase, relate it to the 'people of the state', and the current budget...and make an example out of the Democrats and their hungry union minions.

A reminder,   Governor Schwarzenegger does NOT take a salary - he works for free!

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger criticized the raises Wednesday, blaming lawmakers for the state's budget shortfalls.

"They have spent all of that money and they went and created a $22 billion debt," he told a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast audience. "And they continue to spend more than we have. And they have chased businesses out of the state and jobs out of the state. They took the economy right down into the toilet and almost made the state go into bankruptcy."

"Yes, they deserve a raise! That's fair!" he said, drawing laughs from the crowd. "Under any normal circumstances, they would be fighting to keep their jobs, and keep their salaries."

I'll be offering additional names of those who are NOT going to accept the increase, return for updates. My goal is not to embarrass any Republican, but to highlight those who have refused the 'easy increase' for the sake of the state and the direction of the party. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[5/25/05 Wednesday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:02 am [link]
Sacramento's Eric Hogue is a racist...
I'm walking off a family meal at Border's Books Saturday night, as my two girls are looking for Star Wars books and Tammy is collecting class assignment material for her students, I decided to look in the "New Books Section". There, I stumbled upon a 'new' book referencing Arnold Schwarzenegger and the recall.

As I turned the pages - I read my name - and I discovered that I was a racist, and that the recall was fueled by racism!

It's the most recent book about the "Davis Recall", and my family won't let it go that I've been called a "racist" by the author, Gary Indiana. It made for a fun weekend. 

The book is entitled, "Schwarzenegger Syndrome, Politics and Celebrity in the Age of Contempt" by Gary Indiana, a very liberal cultural commentator.

On pages 72-73, Indiana target's the talk hosts who propelled the recall of 2003, and in so doing mentions the correct scenario of the 'birth of the recall' with Ted Costa on 1380 KTKZ - the fourth book to do such in the past two years.

Indiana writes...

The state's budget deficit was a standard theme, its amount invariably inflated from the "out-year problem" of $8 billion left out of that year's balanced budget to $38 billion. Meanwhile, the average family home had appreciated by $100,000 in 2003. Unemployment was well short of the national average.

Pro-recall radio hosts - an overwhelming majority - fueled this manufactured anger of the well-off with specter of illegal immigrants obtaining driver's license and the reality of a 2 percent increase in vehicles registration fees mandated by legislation passed by Gray Davis' predecessor, Republican Pete Wilson.

The racist tone of Sacramento's Eric Hogue and San Diego's Roger Hedgecock was unmistakable, and only slightly more rabid than that of dozens of other radio drones..."

Isn't it interesting that Indiana re-creates the recall as a racist movement against immigrants and a myopic outrage over the vehicle registration fees.

Historical facts tell you that immigration was NOT a player within the recall's birth, Davis signed the legislation (SB60) allowing illegals to gain driver's license to save his hide from sinking support - Davis thought the law would build his liberal voting base, and grow turnout in the face of a certain election defeat.

The vehicle registration fees (VLF) were hiked by Davis to cover his "mismanagement" of the 'dot-com' boom, then spending bust administration and budget...not to mention the energy crisis the state was experiencing during the summers of 2002 and 2003.

Nothing like a radical liberal to re-create history, attempting to label the "Recall of Gray Davis" nothing but a 'racist ploy' fueled by talk radio.

Many people have asked me to write a book about the recall, reading trash like this has me in the frame of mind to do so...stay tuned, I may publish my blog pages from the journey - anyone know a cheap publisher?

Footnote: This is the third book on the recall to mention"News Talk 1380 KTKZ" and the Hogue Show as the origin/conception of the recall... [Hogue Blog - email:]

[5/24/05 Tuesday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:05 am [link]
Skelton on the Border Patrol: What's Going On? When a stalwart defender of Sacramento insider ways such as George Skelton finds acceptable assemblyman Ray Haynes’ California Border Patrol initiative proposal, something is up. This is the establishment’s attempt to co-opt an idea that could send it tumbling, just as the illegal immigration issue might do nationally. But if this idea appears to be gaining such acceptability, why doesn’t the legislative branch simply enact it into law? Once legislators record votes, citizens can assess their acceptability for future service. Direct democracy has, on balance, favored conservative policies. But by excluding these issues (typically regarded as “hot-button”) from the legislature, these successes have not produced more conservative legislators in Sacramento. That is the underlying, principled difficulty with initiative politics—forget the financing issues, and so on. Forcing votes on controversial issues that legislators must live with could have more of a realigning effect than reapportionment. Initiatives allow legislators to escape responsibility and ultimately accountability to the voters. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/23/05 Monday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
Perestroika on the LAT Editorial Page? The LAT editorial page announces “the first of an occasional series in which members of the editorial board voice their disagreement with the official position of the newspaper.” Patterico covers the content of this particular editorial, which dissents from the paper’s official position of opposing all filibusters. This innovation, together with changes on the editorial staff (LA Observed), should produce more interesting editorials. Having the opportunity to dissent should produce some sharper edges all around.

It appears as though most of the former editorial writers are going back into news or into features. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/20/05 Friday]

[Bill Leonard, contributor, Member CA Board of Equalization] 12:03 am [link]
Public Relations Evolution Last week I mentioned Assemblyman Ray Haynes’ proposal to create the California Border Police. As the measure begins receiving media attention and public scrutiny, I have been fascinated about the opposition’s reaction. Previous attempts to combat-- indeed, even discuss-- illegal immigration have resulted in outraged reactions and calls of racism. Yet, no one called Assemblyman Haynes any bad names last week, which is a good thing. Instead, the usually angry opposition raised questions of constitutionality and expressed caution over the fiscal impact of creating a new state agency in a calm manner. Those who support illegal immigration are figuring out that the public does not buy the charge that someone is a racist because they are concerned about the impacts of illegal immigration. That should be an area of concern for those of us who would like to reclaim our borders. The PR battle will be different this time. It is hard to believe that the liberals would back down from this confrontation even with the public on the side of Ray Haynes.
[Leonard Letter]

[5/19/05 Thursday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
LA Times' Martinez Tergiversates I happened to catch LA Times Editorial Page Editor Antonio Martinez’s recent radio interview, which he rehashed in his column yesterday, “We’re Partners in This Crime.” A caller asked him, as Martinez repeatedly ducked, whether illegal immigrants are criminals. His retake is an interesting one: He blamed Vicente Fox, President Bush, and, principally, employers, in wanting “to address the other half of the equation.” It is as though he questioned his own correct (but politically incorrect) instincts on the issue. But this attempt to absolve illegals of their guilt by making us all guilty is a formula for inaction.

It may horrify him, but Martinez appears to be moving to the camp of Victor Davis Hanson. But Hanson argues for aggressive measures, involving a dramatic change of cultural attitude and tough law enforcement. Will Martinez follow him there? [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/18/05 Wednesday]

[Hugh Hewitt - senior columnist] 12:03 am [link]
The LA Election: Here's what I sent the Los Angeles Times "Blogging The Mayor's Election" blog in mid-afternoon, and again at 7:30. Finally posted at 8:54 pm.  Which tells you all you need to know about the Los Angeles Times' ability to be nimble and adaptive:

"The three reasons I am pleased Antonio will win:

Listeners to my radio show know I have been plugging Antonio since the primary, and plugged him during the primary along with Bernard Parks. I plugged Antonio four years ago as well. My conservative pals are shocked. Here's the quick summary of reasons.

First, he's a good man --a genuinely nice guy who will do his best to do good by the city and all its various constituents. Good stuff in a mayor. He's wrong on most policy matters, but so is Hahn. So are all Democrats for that matter. At least Antonio is a pleasure to be around even as he's mucking up the details of public policy. And if a "very bad thing" happened in Los Angeles like it did in New York, he'd walk towards the scene, like Rudy did on 9/11.  Heart matters in politics, and Antonio has a lot of it.

Second, the world's entertainment center deserves an exuberant, charismatic  salesman at the top, not a deputy director for information systems at the Department of Transportation. Jimmy Hahn's a nice guy with the energy of most flashlights left in drawers years ago. I was calling him Jimmy Yawn on Life & Times  a half dozen years ago. Lack of charisma isn't a character defect, but it is also not a qualification to generate convention business and industry relocation.

Finally, 2010. Antonio wins this year and he's bound to win in 2009, and promptly set off to become governor of the great state we live in. We'll beat him like a bongo drum, of course, because he is an off the left edge of the moon liberal who would makes Phil Burton look like a rock-ribbed fiscal conservative.  So we get a GOP governor to succeed Arnold. (No, there isn't a Democrat in the state who can or will beat Arnold, only consultants whispering dreams in Steve Wesley ears are saying anything else.)

Full disclosure. I was sort of an Antonio appointee. Curt Pringle put me on the California Arts Council a decade ago during his overnight stay in the Speaker's office, and when my term expired, Antonio didn't reappoint me, but he didn't appoint anyone else, so I extended my stay as arbiter of official culture for a couple of years. Bob Hertzberg fired me. BTW: What's that tell you about the political skills of the two guys? The small stuff --very, very small stuff-- matters.

BTW: Let me be the first to mention Antonio as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2008. Mickey Kaus take note."

This race was over when the polls opened, and the refusal of the Times to blog the race during election day reflected the paper's old media values of pretending to be objective and a pretentiousness that is wildly amusing.  As though they lacked the staff to make it work or that a Times' blog would impact a landslide. Think of a 60-year old, balding, overweight man getting ready to go to the singles bar.  That was the Times getting bloggy for L.A.'s election night.  And his arrival at the club is going just as well.  Sigh. The paper's book review editor, Steve Wasserman, left this month, but that's hardly a start.  When the paper gets serious about selling papers, scores of old media time-servers will get the boot.  In the meantime, the sad attempt at group blogging may illuminate exactly why this paper is so far off the rails.

[5/16/05 Monday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:02 am [link]
Greenwald Claims Success Over Arnold
Robert Greenwald (Greenwald is a producer, director and self described political activist), credits 'himself' for the fall of Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval numbers. Read it for yourself, he is a feature contributor at the 'new'  Huffington Blog site launched this month.

I got involved after his State of the State speech where, in an act of unmitigated narcissism and political idiocy, he decided to attack the teachers, the fire fighters, all of labor, students... you name it. Unless it was big business big money, he went after them. Perhaps the cigars he was smoking had some other substance in them, because it was such an idiotic over-reach and served to arouse and unite a tremendous number of working men and women throughout the state.

Like many, I was incensed at his speech. And I believed, along with many others who had been doing anti-Arnold work, that his over-reaching would be his downfall. So Rick Jacobs and I helped start a weekly phone call with various groups, individuals and all of us united in wanting to do something.

I find his reference to the nurses as heroines interesting...

Unlike the experts, the pundits, the politicos who check the wind before taking a position, these heroines went right back at him. They followed him to his glitzy money raising affairs, and they would not be silent, they would not be compliant, and they would not go away.

How many female nurses are there, compared to male nurses? Is this part and parcel of the "Big Lie" tactics that we see and read from the unionized liberal left of today's California society? From  'NurseZone', we read;

Male nurses are slowly making inroads on the nursing fraternity. According to the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, approximately 6 percent of American registered nurses are men. The number of male students in nursing schools is on the rise, however, which should allow greater numbers of men to enter the nursing profession in the future. In fact, males comprise 13 percent of nursing school students nationally, more than double the percentage of male RNs in the United States.

Sure; 6% and 13% respectively are relatively low compared to the female majority, but it's the stereotype and presentation that grabs me with Greenwald. If you have to tell a lie, make it a "Big Lie", and throw in some misrepresentations along the way. Play the 'sexist card', these lowly, female nurses have been targeted again by the 'groping' Governor of California. Here is Arnold picking on women, preying upon female nurses to balance his big business budget.

The reason for Governor Schwarzenegger's refusal to implement the 5-1 ratio, versus his holding firm at the 6-1 ratio were; (1) budgetary costs, (2) the number of available nurses in California, and (3) legislative mandates are NOT working for California's budgetary crisis, whether it be educational or health care related.

Most hospitals were performing appropriately with the 6-1 ratio, versus a mandate of 5-1 nurses to patients ratio. To mandate the 5-1 when there was no need was nothing more than a union perk.

Ask yourself, why were the nurses union official negotiating at the State Capitol in the first place, shouldn't there grievances been inside of the individual hospitalsFor Greenwald to represent the "Big Lie", that Arnold has been against individual teacher's board rooms? Why the legislature? Because a law is sweeping, and it creates more nurses and more union dollars to elect more politicians sympathetic to the agenda of the union's health - versus the state's health.

To say that Arnold has targeted individual nurses, policemen and firemen, is a lie. The governor has been working against the web of control, not the individual specialists

Now Greenwald wants to take credit for the success of the lie and the MSM's role in propagating it - plus the people's buying it. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[5/13/05 Friday]

[Andrew Jones - Bruin Alumni Association] 12:52 am [link]
[found in the ebag-ed.] Villaraigosa Renounces MEChA Past After Bruin Alumni Association Campaign May 12, 2005; Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa yesterday renounced the militant Chicano college organization MEChA he once led at UCLA, following a campaign by the Bruin Alumni Association to publicize his radical ties. As reported in today’s La Opinion by reporter Jazmin Ortega, Villaraigosa stated “I am not in agreement with most of [MEChA’s] precepts. … Of course I renounce its philosophy.” The comment was in response to a reporter’s question at a press conference and stemmed from four days of sustained demands by the Bruin Alumni Association that Villaraigosa renounce his MEChA ties. President Andrew Jones stated: “Villaraigosa’s renouncement of MEChA is a victory for our Antonio Villaraigosa Educational Campaign, and a victory for UCLA alums who oppose MEChA’s history of violence and seditionist rhetoric.” Villaraigosa’s turnabout Wednesday followed a dismissive response to the same questions at a Monday press conference; and Villaraigosa’s speech at a MEChA National Conference held on the UCLA campus in 1998.

The Antonio Villaraigosa Educational Campaign publicized two issues:

Archival investigation of UCLA campus newspaper The Daily Bruin revealed that Villaraigosa (then known simply as Tony Villar) engineered the removal of the director of the Chicano Studies Center for his refusal to include “community involvement,” specifically from the Communist Chicano group “National Committee to Free Los Tres.” The NCFLT, as the full story on shows, was a Marxist-Leninist faction whose goals included the creation of a "revolutionary vanguard" dedicated to the "liberation of the Mexican people."

MEChA itself holds similarly racist, separatist and treasonous views. Its founding document El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan states, “We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent,” declares that “For the very young there will no longer be acts of juvenile delinquency, but revolutionary acts,” and introduced the motto “Por la raza, todo. Fuera de la raza, nada (For those of the [Hispanic] race, everything. For those not of the [Hispanic] race, nothing).”

The Bruin Alumni Association, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 2005, serves to educate UCLA alumni and the general public about campus matters, including the radical take-over of the faculty, administration, and student body, and seeks to reverse the ongoing destruction of UCLA’s good name.

* The La Opinion article “The delinquency, center of the last days of the campaign." Relevant quotes are in the last paragraph.

[Frank Pastore - radio talk show host]12:35 am [link]
“Aztlan Reconquista?  No!  Viva America!”  A monument at the Baldwin Park Metrolink station, erected in 1993, is engraved with these two passages, “This land was Mexican once, was Indian always and is, and   will be again” and “It was  better before they came.”  Artist Judy Baca was paid $56,000 for her work, and the quote came from activist Gloria Anzaldua.  Lots of people now find this terribly offensive and inappropriate, and this Saturday there will be a protest against it sponsored by Ventura-based Save Our State. Two big points. 

First, MECHa assumes there is such a thing as a natural right to property based upon physical possession, but this is not how human civilization has determined property rights, but how the animal kingdom has.  And it is so fleeting.  Review history on any continent and you will find national boundary lines have been determined by warfare and purchase, not squatters­whether it be Indians, Spaniards, Spartans, Turks, Tutsi’s or Romans. 

Second, if California were “given back” to MECHa, then most Americans would move to Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona to avoid living in a third world country and the same problem would be repeated again.  MECHa would then want to “reclaim” that turf too.  Don’t they understand that what makes America great are the uniquely American ideas articulated in our Declaration and our Constitution that allow for the preconditions that create such prosperity and opportunity through our free markets? 

Tocqueville noticed as much. 

MECHa wants California because California is American.  Ironically, MECHa wants the America they love to hate.  Like rebellious adolescents, their defiant claim to have broken away from the family is betrayed by their outstretched hand and inability to succeed in their “own” country. 

Dear MECHa, spend your efforts Americanizing Mexico, and we will rush to your side.  Continue your efforts at Mexicanizing America, and you will deserve every ounce of contempt your actions demand. [go to Pastore's Blog]

[5/12/05 Thursday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
Illegal Immigrant Struggles and American Lawlessness The stories of immigrants, whether legal or illegal, often touch the heart, though some of that touching is of the Tom Sawyer pick your pocket type. Consider the affecting story of the “Underwear Tree” and the landmarks illegals crossing the border use (Richard Marosi, LAT):

The scrub oak tree that marks the human smuggling trail into California invites migrants to rest from the arduous mountain crossing. Weary men, women and children drink from water bottles and seek shade from the searing sun.

When the migrants sit back — still facing a six-hour hike to the border — the bandits pounce.

They steal the migrants' meager belongings and strip off their clothing looking for money stitched into the seams. The underwear is then tossed into the branches.

That's how the tree got its name: El Arbol de los Calzones, or the Underwear Tree.

Or note Steve Lopez’s tale of an illegal immigrant woman now graduating from USC in political science. Her ambitions brought her through adversity when “American greed” (Lopez calls it) tripped her up: In applying for even more scholarship aid than offered her, her illegal status was revealed, and she lost all the aid. But that didn’t keep her from persevering. Lopez observes that “with a little diligence Ann could have gotten her visa mess straightened out and avoided many of her problems.” (Previous bureaucratic incompetence granted her a social security card.) “Ann” is ambitious for graduate school.

Recall here Victor Davis Hanson’s praise of his outstanding illegal immigrant students, even as he reports on the criminality of illegals just on and near his farm.

The determination these illegals have in crossing the border or defying bureaucracy may appear to be a virtue, but in fact they are qualities that that further a culture of lawlessness, of which we have sufficient native resources. Just one sign of the burden of illegal immigration can be found in the costs to local government, just in emergency room care in hospitals (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, LAT)

Every human being has a story of interest, which might make the subject appealing. Will someone write about American citizens who are denied adequate medical care because their hospital was obliged to aid illegals?

Whose "greed" is it? Employers who want cheap labor, or immigrants who want better jobs? Moral self-restraint is needed by both. The culture of lawlessness embraces nominees for Attorney General and the local grocery store. Our current means of dealing with it guarantee a result as successful as Prohibition, but ignoring it has far more serious political consequences.

Hospitals can begin applying today for the funds under a four-year, $1-billion program announced Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

California hospitals are in line to receive more than any other state — nearly $71 million in the first year of the program, or about 30% of the initial national allocation of $250 million. Funds are distributed based on a state's percentage of undocumented immigrants and on the number of apprehensions of individuals in the state illegally.

"Southern California should get about half of that, $35 million, because we have a higher proportion of illegal immigrants than the rest of the state," said John Lott, a spokesman for the Hospital Assn. of Southern California.

Emergency rooms are, by default, the medical provider for many of the estimated 8 million to 12 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States. Under the law, hospitals participating in federal insurance programs, such as Medicare, must provide emergency care to anyone, regardless of ability to pay.

See Michelle Malkin’s Immigration Blog for further details. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/11/05 Wednesday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 8:13 am [link]
Campaign Reform Versus Free Speech California Progressivism’s campaign to rid politics of corruption finds another culmination in campaign finance reform, reflected in law professor Rick Hasen’s LAT argument for campaign vouchers. (See his election law blog.) Denying that this is a restriction on political speech, Hasen proposes

Imagine if the city gave Los Angeles voters $25 each in campaign vouchers to distribute to his or her favorite city candidate, party or interest group, and this was the only money allowed in L.A. campaigns. The potential for corruption drops precipitously, the number of voices heard, via donations, rises.

Why wouldn’t the vouchers be purchased for real cash? Or bundled in a bloc and auctioned off? To prevent such buy-outs, further restriction on free political speech would be required. We would be deceiving ourselves if any openness achieved by this reform produced any good effect—electing better public officials. It is in fact a reductio ad absurdum of the Progressive movement in American politics.

See Tiffany R. Jones’s essay on this theme in Progressive Revolution in American Politics and Political Science, edited by John Marini and me, the first in the Claremont Institute series, Edward Erler, editor. It's out next month. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/9/05 Monday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:02 am [link]
The Battle over Gerald Parksy's Endorsement Who has Parsky's endorsement for the June 2006 primary nomination for GOP Candidate for State Treasurer, is it Assemblyman Keith Richman, or former gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon? Parsky's endorsement is valuable, considering that he is the President's point man in California.

Richman is more the moderate candidate between the two; Simon is the true conservative in this primary race. Richman's has had his success stories though, he has offered many of the budgetary items that have graced the pages of the "Spending Cap Initiative", as well as the current "Live Within Your Means" ballot initiative. Richman was also the author of the "Pension Reform Initiative" that was pulled back due to a 'drafting error' surrounding 'death and disabilities' for spouses. Richman to this day says there were (is) no drafting error, and that the argument was fabricated by the unions to destroy the governor's drive to the ballot box.

Bill Simon, on the other hand, has remained true to his roots and conservative causes. After a 5% loss to the former governor of California, Simon supported the recall efforts with great time and financial backing. Yes, there was a period when he was determined to re-enter the fray and run against the 135 candidates, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger, but he stepped aside and endorsed the governor. Simon has the name recognition, a lopsided lead in the current polling numbers and the campaign infrastructure to beat Richman and face a wealthy Bill Lockyer in November of 2006.

I find it hard to believe that Gerald Parsky, and the President's men, would endorse Keith Richman...not because Keith is a bad choice, but Simon is a much better one! Time to wash this rumor out of the soiled knees of the party.

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
How Convenient for The Widow Matsui An $82 billion supplemental spending bill for Iraq military operations cleared the House last week. It did so without the vote of California Congresswoman Doris Matsui, known forever as the "Widow Matsui" on this blog.

The spending bill cleared the way for $82 billion to rush to the troops for military survivor benefits, the construction of the new Iraq Embassy, and the majority directly to the military for ammo, funding and basic needs and protection.

The reason for Matsui's 'present vote', the bill also included a check for $162,000, her death benefit due from the passing of Robert Matsui while serving in the House of Representatives. Because of ethics and concern over the presentation of a spouse voting for her husbands death benefit, she did what other widows have done before her, simply abstain from the vote.

How convenient, she doesn't have to go on record voting for the $82 billion military spending bill to support the military and the war in Iraq, and she gets a check in the progress. So the next time she runs for office  - which will be this 2006 cycle - she can campaign on the fact that she never supported the increase in spending with a vote. A little spray and wash here, to get the stain out before we dump her into the wash come 2006. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[5/6/05 Friday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:02 am [link]
Christian Legal Society at Hastings The Christian Legal Society of Hastings College of Law has sued “school officials who denied recognition of the group because the chapter will not agree to accept members and officers who openly oppose their Christian beliefs.” According to the CLS brief, the College, part of the UC system, maintains “the CLS chapter must open its membership to all students irrespective of their religious beliefs or sexual orientation” and thus pulled its funding. This obviously recalls the Rosenberger case, which was decided in favor of a protesting Christian group but on some shaky equal access grounds.

Claremont Institute Senior Fellow Tom West notes the problem with this argument:

Sometimes conservatives are even tempted to make use of the liberal view that government must be completely neutral between religion and "irreligion." In the Rosenberger case the University of Virginia funded a variety of student publications, but it refused to fund a Christian journal. Michael McConnell argued to the Supreme Court on behalf of the Christian students that "the state should be completely indifferent to whether students use those benefits to participate in religious activity." The Constitution requires "neutrality between religion and its various competitors in the marketplace of ideas." The Court agreed. Unfortunately, McConnell's victory for the Christians was also a victory for Satanic, sado-masochistic, pedophile, and Nazi publications. They too are "competitors in the marketplace of ideas." They too have a right to government funding on an evenhanded basis.

West favors a much stronger ground for the Christian Legal Society, based on the principles of the American Founding. It is, however, one unlikely to prevail in Court, but that is the Court's failing:

For the Founders, government had no right to compel people to believe, or say they believe, in the religious truth as it sees it. But government also had no obligation to be neutral between religious doctrines favoring despotism or immorality, and those favoring freedom or morality. Moreover, government should teach and support the theology of freedom, the theology of the Declaration. That is exactly what was done by leaders like Washington, Jefferson, and Adams during the founding era, and by Lincoln in his great Civil War speeches. [Thanks to Joe Knippenberg, who posted on this case on Noleftturns.] [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/5/05 Thursday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:02 am [link]
Republican Triangulation with Border Patrols? Wednesday morning's 'exclusive interview' with Assembly Member Ray Haynes detailing his new initiative called the "California Border Patrol Initiative" was revealing.

Personally I'm still very cautious, I'm not a fan of 'looking' like we are securing the southern border, while ignoring the waterfront - it gives a presentation that we are looking for 'people of color' and not just illegal immigration. (Plus I want to win elections and create legislation through a majority in Sacramento.)

Nevertheless, Assemblyman Ray Haynes was in studio, and we had the Chairman of the California Democrat Party, Art Torres, on the phone waiting to join the discussion. Torres has no idea about the new initiative, he waited on hold and then offered a very 'safe' and revealing reply when asked about the initiative and the concept of a California Border Patrol.

Torres said, "We should let the federal government do it, there is no need to create another state peace officer department when we have the federal border patrol already in place."

Interesting, where was the 'you guys are racist' comments?

Today, Democrat Speaker of the Assembly, Fabian Nunez was asked about the initiative, I'm told the speaker said, "We do need to enforce the border but the state can't afford to do it and it's the federal government's job anyway." A quick retort from a friend inside of the 'Beast' replied, "Funny, the only time the Democrats say we can't afford something is when it involves the law of the state."

Why are the Dems not ranting over this new initiative? Because it has them trapped with their constituency.

The Democrat's 'union supporters' do not like illegal worker taking up ALL of the jobs in the state. When Member Haynes states that this is an initiative to reinforce our laws, he is messaging safely and placing the Democrats on the 'hot seat'...the unions want to 'limit' the flow of competition into the state and this Border Patrol addresses their concerns.

The Border Patrol will limit the flow of illegal immigration and work force competition, and it will also create more public employee, peace officer jobs for the state and the union - and the unions like the additional jobs and the additional union dues for political purposes.

Do we actually have the GOP reaching out the the public employee unions? Is the Republican Party offering some triangulation with this new still my heart. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[5/4/05 Wednesday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:02 am [link]
Immigration: Weintraub on the Governor's Talk; the House Acts Daniel Weintraub doesn't like the hash on immigration the Governor is serving up:

[A]s an immigrant himself, this governor was perfectly positioned to elevate the discussion in a way that did not associate his office with the bigots who often travel the same road. On that score, he's just failed miserably.

As we noted before, he should not have apologized for making a casual remark about "close the borders"; he should have praised the Minuteman Project then. Weintraub errs in stereotyping the border watch. Of course some of them are armed, for some illegals and their coyote guides are as well. The Minutemen are simply copying the American locals’ ways.

There are bigots and nutcases on every single political issue; that in no way should diminish the fervor in pursuit of a just cause. Consider Lincoln's statesmanship in looking for a way out of the slavery crisis. More than once, for the purpose of aiding the anti-slavery cause (see his debates with Stephen Douglas), he actually appealed to anti-black prejudices: Giving rights to slaveholders would allow blacks to be among us white folk! (Illinois had a law prohibiting the entry of free blacks.) Given these circumstances, Lincoln's rhetoric is not racist, contrary to the sniping of his latter-day critics. Such is the nature of democratic politics outside an era of pure enlightenment. Of course there is no need, even in the current crisis, to appeal to racial sentiments. Defending the borders means defending the rights of every American; it is the quintessential color-blind obligation of government.

A sympathetic critic of the Governor, Dan Walters, observes: “Schwarzenegger must make his case on its merits, rather than count on voters to trust his recommendation.” We have criticized Schwarzenegger’s rhetoric before.

But the main problem with the immigration debate today is that the President is not responding to the growing concerns of American citizens. He is thus allowing far lesser figures to command the rhetorical landscape, diminishing the authority he could give to the debate. Moreover, his views are overly colored by his Texas experience with deeply rooted Mexican-Americans, which is simply not applicable to the current crisis.

The immigration sausage factory: The House of Representatives has acted to curb rights and entry of illegal immigrants via a series of measures concerning driver's licenses, the border fence, and asylum requirements (Mary Curtius, LAT). How much will survive this bill in the Senate? Will there be a deal here involving the John Bolton nomination, the filibuster, or whatever pet interest a senator may have? [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[5/3/05 Tuesday]

[Frank Pastore - radio talk show host] 12:05 am [link]
PJI: Congratulations to everyone involved with the Pacific Justice Institute’s dinner Saturday night in Irvine. An excellent event, one of the best organized and attended dinners I’ve been to. Judge Roy Moore was the headliner, Hugh Hewitt emceed, and awards were presented to many worthy volunteers and attorneys who worked to advance the cause… pro bono. PJI is a class organization, headed by a class act, Brad Dacus. [go to Pastore's Blog]

[5/2/05 Monday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
Kerry Endorses Villaraigosa Would local elections be better if they were partisan? Of course. Bring the politics back into local elections, and you’ll see far more interest, more light, and therefore less corruption overall. The ties between local and national interests would become much clearer. You would see partisanship disagreeable to many (typically the losers), of course. Republicans stand the most to gain, as they would be forced to pitch their arguments to typically Democratic black and Hispanic audiences they would ordinarily ignore (though see considerable evidence to the contrary, Wallsten and Hamburger, LAT). See our earlier posts.

In the case of the Los Angeles mayoral contest, should a Republican be more inclined to vote for Democrat Hahn because his opponent was endorsed by John Kerry? At least one Republican’s effort to drum up support failed. Sorry, no Swift Boat Veterans for Hahn. [visit Local Liberty Blog]


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