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[6/30/05 Thursday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [permalink]

Dual Citizenship Dilemma: Where Does Mexico End? Mexico’s Congress voted overwhelmingly to permit voting by mail, thus allowing as many as 4 million immigrants, legal and illegal, living in the U.S. to vote without returning to their country (LAT, Chris Kraul, Sam Quinones). Of course this raises as well the issue of dual citizenship—can someone belong to two countries at the same time? The issue is particularly acute with regard to Mexico, because of its proximity and the past history of border disputes.

Although no one has exact figures, as many as 10 million Mexican citizens live in the United States, about half of them believed to be legal immigrants, many of whom hold dual citizenship, and about half illegal immigrants. As many as 4 million of these immigrants, both legal and illegal, may be eligible to vote next year, according to estimates by the Mexican Senate.

And this leads us to wonder about the LAT’s good Opinion ideas: Where is the immigration thinking out loud series? Recall this version of the late unpleasantness.

John Fonte questioned the legitimacy of dual citizenship in this essay on the Hudson Institute’s website. Look for his essay on current immigration issues in the next issue of Local Liberty, which will feature three essays on immigration. Subscriptions are, for now, free. See below for an excerpt from his critique of dual citizenship:

Mexican legislative bodies have reserved seats for deputies representing Mexicans living in the United States. The general idea makes sense, but the problem is the Mexican government has designated as "Mexicans" naturalized American citizens and even their children born in the United States. Several years ago, Fox Cabinet member Juan Hernandez declared "we are betting" Mexican-Americans will "think Mexico first" to the "seventh generation." Thus, Mexican government policies directly challenge American national interests in patriotically assimilating these newcomers. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/29/05 Wednesday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [permalink]
Walters on Regional Reform Dan Walters urges consideration of regionalism--governance including perhaps several counties on various issues--as a way of moving beyond Sacramento sclerosis and local weakness.

State government's political sclerosis is, if anything, becoming more acute. And given the astonishing breadth of California's cultural, economic, political and geographic diversity, perhaps it's impossible for state-level policymaking to flourish again…

Regionalism has its potential downside, diminishing an already battered sense of statewide community. But it may offer California its only realistic hope for restoring effective governance because local governments are too parochial and the state government is completely gridlocked.

But is this too great a bow to the false god of efficiency? The great problem with regional government, what makes it efficient, is that it is in large measure unaccountable. How do you vote them out of office? The regional government is comprised of officials elected from an array of constituencies. This is the peril our politics has brought us to, the temptation to take decisions out of our hands (our liberty) for the sake of supposedly better government. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/27/05 Monday]

[Tom McClintock] 12:01 am [permalink]
SCOTUS Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut: Last week the U.S. Supreme Court broke the social compact by striking down one of Americans’ most fundamental rights. Their decision nullifies the Constitution’s Public Use clause and opens an era when the rich and powerful may use government to seize the property of ordinary citizens for private gain.

The responsibility now falls on the various states to reassert and restore the property rights of their citizens. I am today announcing my intention to introduce an amendment to the California Constitution to restore the original meaning of the property protections in the Bill of Rights. This amendment will require that the government must either own the property it seizes through eminent domain or guarantee the public the legal right to use the property. In addition, it will require that such property must be restored to the original owner or his rightful successor, if the government ceased to use it for the purpose of the eminent domain action. [McClintock Blog]

[6/25/05 Saturday]

[Chuck DeVore - columnist] 11:02 am [permalink]
In the “you think we have it bad” department West Virginia is going to the polls today (Saturday) to vote on taking out $5.5 billion in bonds to pay for their under-funded teachers’ retirement system.

Long known for its big union infused power politics, West Virginia serves as a cautionary tale for us out West. With a population of only 1,815,354 (Orange County has 3 million residents), Democrat Governor Joe Manchin, III has proposed to add over $3,000 of bonded indebtedness to every man, woman, and child in the state to fund its teachers’ pension system. There are 26,000 retired teachers in the state with another 19,313 teaching and presumably eligible to retire some day. Taking into account all 45,313 of the retired and active teachers, the $5.5 billion of debt equals over $121,000 per teacher. (I’m surprised that West Virginia’s U.S. Senators and kings of pork Robert C. Byrd and John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV haven’t orchestrated a federal bailout.)

To further place things into context, the entire West Virginia state budget is $3.19 billion. Unfunded pension liabilities exceed the state budget in 12 other states too.

Complicating Gov. Manchin’s low-voter-turnout-on-a-summer-weekend-sneak-it-through-strategy, Don Blankenship, the CEO of Massey Energy Co., has spent many thousands of dollars of his own money to urge voters to reject the ballot initiative. The mining executive argues that the plan is risky and has attacked the $55 million in fees that will go to the bankers, lawyers and others who assembled the deal.

How did West Virginia get into this mess? Demographically, the state is old and poor. On the federal level, the rest of America pours in $1.73 for every dollar paid by West Virginians (California get about 76 cents on the dollar back from D.C.). But, and here’s the problem, West Virginia’s business climate ranks 47th in the nation (see while since 1990 West Virginia's state and local tax burden has risen from below the national average to well above the national average.

Let West Virginia’s ills serve as a powerful warning to California that it is impossible to tax and regulate a government budget back to fiscal fitness and that unbridled government union power will eventually bankrupt government. Supporting the Paycheck Protection initiative is one sure way we can check unlimited government union power. While supporting the governor’s budget reform and redistricting initiatives are the best way to make progress on fiscal responsibility in California.[]

[6/23/05 Thursday]

[Nick Winter-Found in the ebag] 8:02 am [permalink]
Polling games a letter from reader Mike Hontz - I thought it was interesting that in an article by Gary Delsohn the Sacbee it states that 52% of registered voters opposed the special election and when told the cost the percent goes up to 61%. But not once does the article state what was in the ballot.

If asked, “do you think children under 17 should get parental consent before getting an abortion or should rank and file members of unions be able to be asked if their dues can be used for political parties” would the poll have changed a bit? [Mark – yep, selective emphasis, eh?... ‘cause within the poll numbers those measures are favored to pass AND other numbers that show the Legislature is lower in poll numbers than the Governor! - Ed.]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:09 am [permalink]
Can Republicans Be Principled AND Victorious? LAT columnist Patt Morrison ridicules the California Republican Assembly, a volunteer Republican group that takes principled conservative stands and endorses candidates.

The CRA is the bemuscled bouncer of California GOP politics. You want the nomination, or even an endorsement? You go through the CRA. By the time a candidate staggers out the far end of its conservative purity-test grinder, there's not much electable meat left on his bones.

But the Goldwater debacle ultimately gave birth to a more principled Republican party. Why elect Republicans, the CRA has convincingly argued, who simply acquiesce to Democratic stances on taxes, morality, and regulation? Why bother with politics at all? Wouldn't it be better to soak up the sun?

Long-time CRA member and political theorist Richard Reeb provides a thoughtful analysis of the CRA in this essay. His recommendation to big-hatted Patt and the CRA would be the big tent not of New Majority semi-Republican types but the colossal tent offered by Abraham Lincoln. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/22/05 Wednesday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 8:09 am [link]
End of the Black Dragon Gang? While attention has been focused on Mexican and Central American gangs, Asian gangs have proved menacing as well. With the conviction of three Black Dragon gang leaders, David Pierson in the LAT writes that the gang "suffered an inglorious downfall." Oddly, the article, on p. 1 of the California section, is not posted on the LAT website nor available by Google news.The existence of gangs questions fundamental authority and morality. Hence, the appropriateness of the twin themes of the "Gangs of New York"-- the ethnic gangs and the Civil War.[visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/20/05 Monday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 11:59 am [link]

LA Times Editorial Watch LA Observed notes the noble failure of the LA Times “Wikitorial” experiment.

Unfortunately, we have had to remove this feature, at least temporarily, because a few readers were flooding the site with inappropriate material.

Thanks and apologies to the thousands of people who logged on in the right spirit.

The op-ed page already has a diversity that makes it more interesting than the NY Times’. It’s the news coverage that frustrates acute readers. See NYT editor Bill Keller’s attempts to address these problems and our comments. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/17/05 Friday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 9:09 am [link]
Two Cheers for Direct Democracy What is truly at stake in the Governor’s call for a special election is whether we remain a self-governing people or are merely the creatures of Sacramento careerists, public employee unions, the illegal immigration lobby, and those who see workers and businesses as resources to be exploited and redistributed to the politically favored. Conservatives have always and rightly contested whether the initiative is consistent with our deepest constitutional ideals. Obviously the Founders of this nation rejected direct democracy, insisting on deliberative, representative institutions. But they also knew about town hall meetings and their strengths and limitations.

In our contemporary political condition it might be that the legislature is too sick to cure itself of fundamental ailments. The most thoughtful probing of these questions is found in Edward Erler’s essay in The California Republic. What is required of statesmanship at this juncture is to refine the passions of direct democracy into a governing conservative majority in Sacramento. That would be the ultimate political objective, not a strategy of pinpricks (or even major body blows).

One illuminating recent book that defends direct democracy is John Matsusaka’s For the Many or the Few : The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy. It will be reviewed in the next issue of our newsletter, Local Liberty (subscriptions free, for the time being). He argues that direct democracy cost the taxpayers more in the early 20th century, but it has held down government spending in more recent years. A summary of John’s political argument can be found in his LAT op-ed this morning. As he observes,

Politicians are having the hardest time adjusting to the idea that their job is to follow the will of the people and not the other way around. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles), for example, said "another election is not the solution; it's the problem." [Peter Schrag agrees.]

But what would he say about initiatives that tax millionaires? Doesn't the old objection that direct democracy threatens rights still deserve respect?

Matsusaka is President of the Initiative and Referendum Institute and a professor in the school of business at USC. His Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago, which published his book. I recently discovered that we share the same high school, Woodrow Wilson, in Tacoma, Washington. There are more notorious alumni than we, but I'll relate that story at another time. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/16/05 Thusday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
State Senator Campbell's 2001 Vote on Immigrants Tuition Members of the OC Blog have been riled up over a John Campbell affirmative vote why he was in the Assembly in 2001, offering in-state tuition benefits to illegal immigrants and their children.

Monday I had the State Senator, and candidate for the 48th Congressional District, in studio and asked him about his vote on this legislation in 2001. Here is the text of the conversation...

Hogue - Numerous bloggers in Orange County are commenting about a vote that you offered in 2001 on the Assembly side, when you were there, that would give 'in state tuition' benefits (favors) toward illegal immigrants, or the children of illegal immigrants in California. Do you remember that vote sir?

Senator Campbell - I do remember that vote, and let me...let me start out by saying basically that was first few months in the Assembly, and I can tell you why I was convinced at the time to make that vote...because of a clause in there which wound up being 'weakened' and unenforceable.

(The original clause) Which was going to say, that the people had to be actually...recognized by the US Government, and in the process of citizenship. But, that ended up being a non-enforceable thing. So, basically that vote was not...well it was a mistake.

And if you look, I never made any other vote...I learned from that vote, and to make more (of an example) was in my first few months as I said, to analyze these things more and make no vote since then.

Also, to the rumor that John Campbell hired an illegal immigrant while he was operating his car dealership in Orange County, after describing the events surrounding this story on my morning show - this rumor is simply that, a rumor...and the charges are pointless. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[6/15/05 Wednesday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
LA: "the fate of humanity"? Rick Cole, Ventura city manager and former mayor of Pasadena, takes Los Angeles, “mother of all sprawl,” to be a model city for the world. “On that hope rests the fate of humanity”, as mega-cities increase their portion of the world’s population. Will LA be another GM (did he mean Chrysler)?

Cole is skeptical of decentralization. See our thoughts on LA secession and the proper size for LA here and here. That is certainly no formula, but Joel Kotkin supplies some sober advice on how LA can thrive outside of anyone’s formulas.

Your neighborhood focus runs counter to the promotion of downtown.

A lot of our so-called elites have what you might call a case of envy. "Oh, we've got to look like Manhattan." What is Los Angeles, chopped liver? We've managed to be a great city without a great downtown. Today, cities like Houston and Phoenix are growing without major downtowns.

So Southland sprawl is a good thing?

Los Angeles is like the Internet, a bunch of random access points. People are amazed [at] who lives here. Ray Bradbury, Al Toffler … many Nobel Prize winners, many amazing artists. But there's not a coherent sense of that. It's hard to get a rise out of L.A. We don't care who the mayor is, particularly. We care about our neighborhood, and then we live in this organism, Los Angeles. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/14/05 Tuesday]

[Jon Fleischman proprietor of FLASHREPORT daily political email] 2:15 pm [link]
You can subscribe to Fleischman's FlashReport updates for free - drop him a line at
Replacing Chris Cox
The race to succeed Chris Cox has had more twists and turns in its infancy than anyone could have predicted. With State Senator John Campbell's announcement on the Hugh Hewitt show last Friday that he is running for the seat, along with yesterday's big news that State Senator Dick Ackerman will not run for the seat, and retired Senator John Lewis' announcement that he, too, is taking a pass... The field of candidates is at two -- Campbell and self-described moderate former Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewer. There is at least one survey out in the field right now, so we may soon get some numbers on how this match up would go with probable voters, but it is likely premature to assume that this is the full field of candidates.

I spoke briefly last evening with a very excited John Campbell. He is clearly very enthusiastic about this race.

Worthy of note was the interesting candidate-shuffling that took place late last week by GOP consultant Dave Gilliard. Gilliard has represented both Ackerman and Campbell in past elections, and was on-board coordinating activities with Ackerman for this race. To everyone's surprise, Gilliard was quoted in last Friday's Orange County Register being not so supportive of an Ackerman bid. This raised a lot of eyebrows. My understanding is that Gilliard and Ackerman have parted ways -- presumably Gilliard is still on board with Campbell...

When I spoke with former Congressman Bob Dornan last week (at length), he indicated that he would likely support Ackerman. With Dick out of the race, what will B-2 do now? Speaking of former Congressmen, Jim Rogan is also still a factor out there, preferring to wait until after Cox's confirmation before making his intentions known...

Jim Lacy is still leading The Successor Project, pulling together conservative groups towards the goal of uniting the ideological right behind a strong conservative candidate... More groups keep joining -- look for more on this in my next update.

Finally, James Gilchrist, leader of the Minuteman militia project where citizens watched the borders in Arizona, looking out for illegal crossings, has been a rumored potential candidate for this seat. I incorrectly reported (bad info!) that Gilchrist is a GOPer -- he is in the American Independent party (assuming this info is any better than the last). Still, in an open-primary special, he would be a factor. Gilchrist is giving a major address on Thursday night to the Saddleback Republican Assembly in Mission Viejo All will be listening to see if he is going to get into the race... [email to subscribe to FLASHREPORT]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
Assembly Member Chuck DeVore to the "Red Carpet"? So who will be come the "new" State Senator from John Campbell's District? The Early bets are on current Assembly Member Chuck DeVore. He is new to the Assembly, but dearly loved by his constituents in the OC Neighborhood.

There are also mentions of Assembly Member Van Tran, the first Vietnamese-American elected to the State Assembly. Van Tran is a good guy, as is Chuck DeVore - both solid conservatives for the Republican Party.

Then, if either run, who enters for the Assembly seat? It never ends folks[Hogue Blog - email:]

[6/13/05 Monday]

[Jon Fleischman proprietor of FLASHREPORT daily political email] 2:07 pm [link]
The Race to Succeed Christopher Cox: ACKERMAN DECIDES TO STAY ON AS STATE SENATE GOP LEADER - LEWIS OPTS OUT OF RACE - OPENS THE WAY FOR JOHN CAMPBELL AS NEW FRONT-RUNNER It is getting hard to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of candidates lining up to succeed Congressman Christopher Cox, once he is confirmed by the United States Senate as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Just a week ago, the FlashReport and others were hailing the early and strong candidacy of State Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman. Now, the news of this afternoon is Ackerman, after a weekend of reflection with his family, has decided NOT to run for Congress after all. In a conversation with him this morning, Ackerman shared that he wants to continue to work along side Governor Schwarzenegger, as Senate Republican Leader on the issues and challenges facing California.

Former State Senator John Lewis, who represented the 33rd State Senate District for many years prior to Ackerman's election to the State Senate, was also looking very seriously as a bid for Congress. He, too, has decided against running. Below is a release issued from his office. When I spoke with Lewis, his concerns about the potential disruption in the lives of his two young children, as well as possibly playing a role in splintering the conservative vote were paramount in his decision.

I have been playing phone tag with State Senator John Campbell, who now finds himself suddenly being a candidate, and a front-runner. [email to subscribe to FLASHREPORT]

[Jon Fleischman proprietor of FLASHREPORT daily political email] 1:25 am [link]
From the FlashReport: STATE SENATE SHAKEUP...  Over the past few days, a lot of politicking has been taking place amongst the members of the GOP State Senate Caucus, with the news of Senate Republican Leader Dick Ackerman's candidacy to replace Chris Cox as the Congressman from the 48th District.  Cox has been nominated by the President to serve as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and is now awaiting Senate confirmation.  In order to sort out what occurred amongst the Senators, I had to talk with quite a few legislators and insiders.  Without going into too much detail and 'burning' sources, the story goes like this...

While consensus exists among the Senators that Dick Ackerman is doing a great job as leader, and should remain in that post until his candidacy for Congress makes it impossible for him to responsibly carry out the duties of that post, the members of the Senate Caucus started, late last week, to talk to each other, figuring out who will take the big fancy office when Ackerman moves out.  An early contender was newly elected State Senator George Runner.  Liked by all, Runner spent six years in the State Assembly, and had existing relationships.  Apparently, though, for reasons unknown the FlashReport, Runner decided not to pursue the post.  By the time the weekend was over, there were three State Senators overtly interested in the post - Jim Battin of Palm Desert, John Campbell of Irvine, and Dave Cox of Fair Oaks, who is a former Assembly Republican Leader. 

Battin came out of the chute with a large number of supporters.  I heard from several sources that Cox really had no other ardent supporters (maybe one) and that Campbell also had very few committed votes.  At some point yesterday, Ackerman and Poochigian apparently weighed in on behalf of Battin, pretty much sealing the deal that this Palm Springs area conservative will assume the top post when Ackerman moves on...

Well, the big winner here would be Battin of course!  Congratulations.  It is an especially sweet victory for him because he and Ackerman are on the same timeline towards term limits.  So, prior to all of this, Battin was really looking at being a part of Ackerman's team until his departure from the legislature, with no chance to become Leader himself.

The big loser?  Well, it might be a tie -- between John Campbell and Dick Ackerman.  Campbell, of course, made it clearly known when he expressed his endorsement of Dick Ackerman for the Congressional seat that he was interested in being Senate GOP Leader.  Failing to achieve this goal (an apparently not even coming close) was unfortunate -- but this bright and up and coming newly elected State Senator still has a promising career ahead, only six months into his first term...

Dick Ackerman has to be sitting in his big cushy leader's chair yesterday afternoon, wondering how this all happened...  "All this" refers to John Campbell's swift and direct response to Ackerman weighing in for someone besides him for leader -- within hours, Campbell, while on a regular appearance on the nationally-syndicated talk show of FR friend Hugh Hewitt, said that he is reconsidering whether or not to run for the Republican nomination in the special election to replace Congressman Chris Cox and withdrew his endorsement of State Senator Dick Ackerman for the congressional nomination. When asked why he withdrew his Ackerman endorsement, Campbell said he was not pleased with some things that have gone on recently in this regard.  [Thanks to the 34 readers who all emailed me upon hearing this on Hugh's program].  I had an opportunity to speak with Ackerman, who certainly feels like he did the right thing here, although (appropriately) he didn't discuss too many details, as these matters are 'internal' to his caucus.

I placed a call to Campbell to touch base with him, and here is his statement (released through a top aide):  "I have decided that I need to re-examine the potential candidates in this congressional race, due to the importance that this seat holds; I want to make sure I support a candidate who effectively represents the unique interests of this district. As you know, I have represented nearly the entire 48th Congressional district in his time in the Assembly and Senate."

How this all shakes out up the Senate Caucus is yet to be seen...but now you know what I know...based on the contacts that spoke with me...

Well, John Campbell's pulling of his endorsement of Ackerman doesn't help our frontrunner's candidacy.  Ackerman still enjoys a tremendous advantage over Marilyn Brewer (the only other credible announced candidate) in the field of endorsements.  Still, one of the challenges of being the first out of the barrel is maintaining forward momentum.  This next week will be very important for Ackerman, who will need to show that he can raise the money to earn his 'front runner' status... 

Brewer, who was spotted by many politicking earlier this week at event for Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher in Fullerton, has seeded her candidacy with a personal contribution of $150,000, reports Josh Kurtz in today's Roll Call Magazine.  Kurtz's article also heavily quotes political consultant Harvey Englander, who has apparently been hired by Brewer.  Kurtz notes that Englander is fresh off the campaign of Bobby Shriver (Maria's brother) who won a seat on the Santa Monica City Council.  Englander consulted for Brewer in her successful 1992 Assembly run.  Brewer, of course, is looking for a wide primary field, and will undoubtedly seek to try and be the only moderate GOPer in the field.  She was elected to the State Assembly in 1992 when two conservatives split the ideologically right vote, so her tactic has merit...and this race will allow her to campaign for votes from Democrat and Decline to State voters...

Retired Congressman Dornan called me on Monday, to take issue with how I characterized him in an earlier issue.  I was quite negative.  The two of us cleared up a misunderstanding between us, which was good.  He made an apology as did I, and to my readers, sorry for being negative about him.  That having been said, Bob went on for some time about his moral and ideological justifications for his 2004 primary challenge to Dana Rohrabacher (I won't recount them here) and then went on a tear about his extreme dislike (hatred) for John Lewis.  Lewis, readers may recall, was the consultant/advisor in 1996 to attorney Lisa Hughes who ran a pretty nasty primary challenge to then-Congressman Dornan.  Dornan attributes his general election loss that year, in a large part, to the negative rhetoric of that primary battle.  What does any of this have to do with CD48?  Bob told me that is not running, and would be very inclined to support Dick Ackerman.

A tip from a FlashReport reader:  James Gilchrist, the "project coordinator" for the now-famous Arizona Minutemen, the citizen-volunteers who spent time posted along the US/Mexico border to suppress illegal border crossings, lives in the 48th (in Aliso Viejo) and is thinking about throwing his hat into the ring.  That would certainly at an extra level of drama to the race.  Of course, I'm sure everyone's wondering the same as me...other than the issue of border control, who is Gilchrist and what does he believe?  I did check, though, and he is a Republican...[email to subscribe to FLASHREPORT]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
Battin Around the New Senate Leader
I've heard that the support for State Senator Jim Battin to be the next leader of the Minority Party in the State Senate has much to do with his ability to raise millions of dollars, and use the cash to seed other Republican candidate up and down the California Coast. This is great, but if you study the 'money train' of State Senator Battin you notice that a majority of his cash comes from the Indian Tribes and the CCPOA Union.

A simple question; how can you have a Senate Republican Leader who finds his fuel from the coffers of Indian Tribes and Public Employee Unions when you have initiatives on the 'special election' ballot trying to limit one, and legislation soon to arrive removing the other from campaign contributions?

The Indian Tribe money was the straw that broke the camel's back for me during the recall campaigns, with both a Republican and the Democrats.

How can you make an argument about tax dollars burdens for illegal immigrants, when we look the other way and take the Indian Tribe's (sovereign country, right?) political campaign cash and think nothing of the costs, development, land grab and city infrastructure burdens (tax dollars) the ever growing Indian Casinos cause? Not to mention the political power they have to influence each and every race in the state.  

I thought we (the GOP) were hard at work trying to limit the growth and control of the Indian Tribes? Why are they allowed to contribute to another sovereign countries political campaigns in the first place?

I also thought we were trying to support the passing of the "Employee Consent Initiative" (the Paycheck Protection Act) as a party, how can we do this when one of the major sources of 'green' for the 'red carpet' is coming from one of the largest public employee unions in the state?

I happy to read that State Senator Jim Battin has publicly supported the "Employee Consent Initiative", but where does he stand with the Indian Tribes - a group that has offered him $1.5 million dollars over the past few years.

Yet, there are also a few investigations surrounding Senator Battin's use of the Indian Tribe dollars, the same type of investigations and concerns that have surrounded Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamente's political operations.

Out of great respect, the Senator contacted me this week, and we have agreed to meet for lunch to discuss these issues. I've heard nothing but praise for Senator Battin, one of the Republican politicos that I have yet had the pleasure to meet.

I'm hoping there is more to the story that I'm failing to see and understand, we all want a good leader in the State Senate and if Senator Battin is the guy, then I (we) want to be supportive. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[6/10/05 Friday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:01 am [link]
State Senator Campbell to Announce Today CONFIRMED: State Senator Campbell's announcement comes today, (Friday)...

An announcement from State Senator John Campbell is coming - and it is now clear from my perspective, that Campbell is in the race and John Lewis is out.

Considering that this race will cost nearly $5-8 million dollars, the Lewis cash-flow will offer John Campbell the boost he'll need to gather the money (fuel) to get up and running ahead of the others.

Campbell will be the leader, and Marilyn Brewer will be the competitor - State Senator Dick Ackerman will be playing third fiddle early in this race. The risk for Ackerman, he runs for the seat, offers up his 'minority leadership' in the Senate, and loses the congressional to return the State Senate as a 'roll call' Senator for the Republican Party.

State Senator John Campbell's risk, other than a few bruised relationships - none! [Hogue Blog - email:]

[6/9/05 Thursday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:05 am [link]
Who Replaces Janice Rogers Brown? I've stumbled upon another great 'political blog' for the "Belly of the Beast". It's called the  Hack n' Flack Blog, and its contributors are;  Jose Gregorio Esparza, Josh Lyman and Ray Kinsella. Great blog guys, you've been added to the prestigious "Hogue Blog Roll". May your hits continue to climb.

The  Hack n' Flack Blog starts tonight with a conversation we've been having with numerous individuals in and around the governor's administration, who will replace Janice Rogers Brown on the California State Supreme Court?

Justice Janice Rogers Brown FINALLY was just confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the Federal Appeals bench.

Now let's get on to the real battle...Who will take her place on the CA Supreme Court? Who will Arnold pick?

Sacramento D.A Jan Scully could be on the list...or San Diego D.A. Bonnie Dumanis...I guess you can also throw in former Congressman and Deukmejian appointed Judge Jim Rogan. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[6/8/05 Wednesday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:05 am [link]
Fabian Nunez's 'Attack of the Rich' When you hear Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez offer his rhetoric toward the "rich", just remember this from  Towhall's Larry Kudlow yesterday:

Nations engaged in punishing the rich and leveling income and wealth through high taxes and resource redistribution have always failed. These were the goals of the socialist and communist regimes following WWII, in particular old Russia and its satellites. The size and scope of these failures, and the related deprivation of democracy and human rights, ultimately led to the downfall of communism and the rise of free-market capitalism, with its attendant privileges of free-election democracy and sweeping new human rights. This very transition is now occurring in the once darkest corners of the Middle East.

The economic failure of income- and wealth-leveling is more and more apparent today. The stagnant economies of socialist Old Europe are falling further and further behind the free-market capitalist models of the U.S. and Britain. Milton Friedman’s great 1962 book, “Capitalism and Freedom,” should be read by all inhabitants of Old Europe. He offered a way out. Twenty-odd years later, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher put Friedman’s ideas into political and economic action. The startlingly positive results are being copied by India and China, if not inevitably by France, Germany, and Italy.

So, we have the Socialists Party inside of the Democrat Controlled Legislative Body in Sacramento - again, trying to repeat history by attacking the "high income earners", the 'rich', in an attempt to 'make things fair for all in society'. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[6/7/05 Tuesday]

[Found in the ebag-California Resource Institute] 12:21 am [link]
Gay Marriage bill defeated - barely:
At the end of the day on Friday, AB 19, the homosexual marriage bill, was defeated 36- 37.
41 votes (a majority) are necessary to pass bills from the Assembly Floor. Thank you for your flood of phone calls and faxes to the swing-vote legislators. You made a tremendous difference to preserve and protect traditional marriage in California!

All 32 Republicans in the Assembly voted "no" on gay marriage and they were joined, in the final vote, by five Democrats. Here is the final breakdown of the votes:

36 NOES: Aghazarian, Arambula, Baca, Benoit, Blakeslee, Bogh, Cogdill, Daucher, De Vore, Emmerson, Garcia, Harman, Haynes, Shirley Horton, Houston, Huff, Keene, La Malfa, La Suer, Leslie, Matthews, Maze, McCarthy, Mountjoy, Nakanishi, Niello, Parra, Plescia, Sharon Runner, Spitzer, Strickland, Tran, Vargas, Villines, Walters, and Wyland
37 AYES: Bass, Berg, Bermudez, Calderon, Canciamilla, Chan, Chavez, Chu, Cohn, Coto, De La Torre, Evans, Frommer, Goldberg, Hancock, Jones, Karnette, Klehs, Koretz, Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Liu, Montanez, Mullin, Nation, Nava, Oropeza, Pavley, Ridley-Thomas, Ruskin, Saldana, Torrico, Wolk, Yee, and Nunez
7 ABSENT, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING: Dymally, Gordon, Jerome Horton, Negrete McLeod, Richman (voted "no" earlier but was gone when final vote taken), Salinas, and Umberg

While it is a relief that homosexual marriage was defeated this year, we still have plenty of work cut out for us in California! The battle to preserve traditional marriage will not go away any time soon. We must be ready to fight homosexual marriage licenses in the state legislature next year and we must also go on the offensive to protect marriage. Plans are already underway to place an initiative on the ballot in 2006 to amend the state constitution to protect marriage and CRI is part of a broad-based coalition to help make this happen. Final note: Please check back with us, on our website, in a few days for a complete update on the status of all legislation. At this time, we are putting together a new master summary to include all of the bills that are still active.

[6/6/05 Monday]

[Found in the ebag-State Senator Bill Morrow] 11:11 am [link]
Legislative Follies
– Assembly Bill 756, authored by Assemblywoman Goldberg of Los Angeles. This bill passed out of the Assembly and now awaits action in the Senate Education Committee, which I am a member of.

If enacted, AB 756 would prohibit the state board or a local governing board from adopting textbooks that exceed 200 pages! I recently grabbed my nine year-old son’s Algebra book and it contained over 700 pages. How, in heaven's name, can our educators squeeze a year's worth of learning into 200 pages? Unless Assemblywoman Goldberg wants parents to purchase four algebra books instead of one, our students are going to soon acquire a huge gap in their schooling.

Goldberg must think books are boring. She must want students to focus more on computers and less on books. Somehow she found 41 other Assembly members to buy into that philosophy, even during one of the most hotly contested budget battles in our state’s history.

I believe that our kids need the best resources available to them, but restricting a schools’ flexibility by barring any book that exceeds 200 pages is neither a sound nor a reasonable approach to accomplish this, especially when we should be focusing our efforts to reform how our state spends its budget.

Rest assured, I will vote against this measure when it is presented to the Senate Education Committee.

[6/3/05 Friday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
Immigration Column Idea for LAT Columnist Steve Lopez I’ve whacked Steve Lopez in the past. I thought his column on a scholarship-winning illegal immigrant was nuanced, though sympathetic to her. Lopez reacts to critical readers in his column Thursday, which insists

I didn't set out to glorify Ann. She did things it's hard to justify, like staying in the United States after her student visa expired and lying about her residency to get lower tuition rates and even a scholarship.

But it seemed to me that she added something a little different to the discussion on illegal immigration. That's why I shared her story, along with her take on the rancor aimed at illegal immigrants, sometimes by the very hypocrites who benefit from their presence.

Later on, Lopez adds, to display further even-handedness:

… I want all the soft-headed Democrats to acknowledge the social costs of illegal immigration and its impact on wages. I want grandstanding Republicans to acknowledge that cheap labor is part of a package that includes some form of work visas. And I want President Bush to broker a deal while taking a carrot and stick to Mexico and other sending nations.

But Lopez’s evident sympathies for the conniving Ann make him, like it does with other journalists, part of the story—the acceptance of the culture of illegality, the first step of which is their illegal entry. Thus, even-handedness becomes a cover, intentionally or not, for acceptance of an unjust policy. "Ann" by herself is not going to destroy America, even though her getting into a prestigious graduate program may have displaced another deserving student.

Another example of such coverage, abounding in euphemism: The LAT’s story Wednesday, “TV, Radio Give Legal Advice to Immigrants” (Anna Gorman). It’s clear from reading the story that the bulk of this Spanish-language media legal advice is how illegal immigrants can stay in this country—for example, “At KTNQ-AM (1020), the vast majority of listeners are Mexican, many of whom have recently arrived in the U.S., program director Santiago Nieto said.” “[R]ecently arrived”? (Recall the billboard.)

The Lopez column and the Gorman story contribute, each in its own way, to the construction of a culture of illegality. (See also this NYT story on an illegals employment agency, by Anthony DePalma.) Cardinal Roger Mahoney's LAT op-ed, displays this tendency as well, suppressing the difference between illegal and legal immigration, while claiming "not [to] condone undocumented migration." These articles also serve as reminders of the myth of the objectivity of journalism. The way journalists cover a story and the selection of stories and columns editors make are parts of an overall story the media world tells about us. And this is a story with a moral. The LAT and the NYT (not to speak of CBS) have gone too far, and they are seeking reforms. Whether patients this ill can minister to themselves remains a question.

My column idea for Lopez: How the LAT strengthens the culture of illegality in the way it covers "immigrants." My view of the situation, in a nutshell: The problem is not too many immigrants; it is one of not enough Americans. [visit Local Liberty Blog]

[6/2/05 Thursday]

[Eric Hogue - radio talk show host KTKZ - Sacramento] 12:02 am [link]
Janice Rogers Brown's Replacement? With the removal of Judge Janice Rogers Brown from the California State Supreme Court this Fall, who will Governor Schwarzenegger nominate to replace her?

As it stands right now, the governor has nominated 29 'conservative' judges, 20 'liberal' judges and 7 who have not claimed party or ideology.

Why is this such an important issue, because the State Supremes will be debating and determining these issues:

  • Tobacco companies liability for their advertisements
  • Indian tribes immunity as it relates to campaign donation during election seasons
  • The domestic partnerships, after the signing of AB205 by then governor Gray Davis
  • Gay couples from San Fran challenging the reversal of the 'same-sex marriages' due to constitutional violates by Mayor Gavin Newsome

Current "State Supreme Robes" hold a (6-1) advantage; Republican nominees versus Democrat nominee - considering that Schwarzenegger is a Republican that ratio will not change, but the 'make-up' of the bench most definitely will.

Yet, the governor will be hard pressed to find another conservative judiciary member like Janice Rogers Brown.

Add to this fact that Judge Brown was a minority conservative judiciary 'leader' for California, no matter who the governor picks, the replacement will be a step or two to the center of Janice Rogers Brown.

Governor Schwarzenegger's nominee will be announced this Fall and face the Commission of Judiciary Appointments, before placed on the bench. The nomination could 'help or hurt' the "Special Election" as we go down the stretch. 

Idea for the Governor's Office: If there is a Latino/Hispanic conservative judge (the likes of an Alberto Gonzales, or Miguel Estrada) to be nominated, find him/her and ready them for the confirmation process. [Hogue Blog - email:]

[6/1/05 Wednesday]

[Ken Masugi - Local Liberty Blog - Claremont Institute] 12:01 am [link]
The Reformer Governor's Opportunities: Our reflection on two opinion pieces leads us to conclude that The Terminator may need to think more like The Octopus.

Debra Saunders wonders whether any boxes have been repackaged, much less blown up. What has the Governor done to reform the bureaucracy? Interviewing Schwarzenegger adviser Mike Murphy, she thinks the facts point to an opposite conclusion: “Schwarzenegger is shaving expenditures, but not going after his campaign nemeses: fraud, waste and abuse.”

In a rather convoluted editorial, "Reassessing the 'Octopus,'" the LAT thinks that “Schwarzenegger hasn’t cemented his own place in history, but he has far to go to earn his self-comparison to Hiram Johnson.” Progressive Governor (and later Senator) Hiram Johnson denounced the Southern Pacific Railroad, a clash portrayed in the melodramatic novel, The Octopus, by Frank Norris (yet another book that would be effectively banned in public school classrooms by Jackie Goldberg’s latest bill.) But, following historian Kevin Starr’s assessment of a new book, the LAT editorial allows that the Southern Pacific may in fact have been the model for the agenda Progressive government would later impose: employee health benefits, environmental concerns, the public interest. Historian Richad Orsi has written a kind of revisionist history of the Southern Pacific that may serve to undermine the case for Progressivism in California and nationally. One might conclude—I haven’t read Orsi’s book—that Johnson came to his lengthy career and Progressivism arose more on demagoguery than on the facts. Lesson for today: Business sense, not government mandates, should be the logic leading the reform of our State—and businesses are being driven out of the state by taxes and regulation.

The would-be reformer Governor has plenty of facts to work with, as Saunders notes. Schwarzenegger is in a good position to eclipse Johnson in his significance for California, and not just because we are seeing a truer picture of Johnson. [More on the Governor's politicking-- going local (Jean Pasco, LAT). [visit Local Liberty Blog]

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