Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District
in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly
Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature
and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican
Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach,
Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna
Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly
and through the website
for his California Senate campaign.
Disappointed But Proud
An embarrassing government, but a great state
[John Campbell] 7/26/03
It was quite a week in California politics. The
first ever recall campaign of a Governor in this state qualified
for the ballot. Assembly Democrats inadvertently left on microphones
during a private meeting in the state capitol building allowing
all of us to hear them plotting to intentionally cause "pain" and
hold up a budget agreement in order to advance their initiative
and political agenda. The Governor's finance director angrily
shouted at me in a crowded capitol hallway while at the same
time calling many members of his own party "fringe Democrats
saying goofy things." Our state's credit rating was downgraded
to one level above junk bond status. All the national news
networks are covering these stories nightly from Sacramento.
And Newsweek magazine has a cover this week depicting a map
of a "crumbling" California.
I was born
in California. In fact, I am a 4th generation Californian.
My great grandfather
was a "49er" who came to California, "the
land of promise" in 1849. He never left. And I have
never wanted to live anywhere else. I love this state. I
natural beauty, its human dignity, and its unique spirit
of enterprise and discovery. But is it still "the land
back at this week, I find myself with a mixture of disappointment
and pride. I am disappointed
that our Governor
has so failed this state that he must be recalled. But
I am filled with pride that this state continues to display
political courage of the populace to deal with such problems,
and that we have the mechanism to express them. The shameful
actions of Legislative Democrats this week are indeed disappointing
even if they are not members of my political party. But the
universal rebuke of those actions from all quarters
shows that the "win at all costs" attitude is
limited to just a few elected Democrats, and not shared
by those who
have elected them.
I am embarrassed
to be part of the elected representatives of a state in such
turmoil. But I am encouraged
people are ready to rise up and make fundamental change
over the next
few years to put us back on the right track. I hate to
hear that California is 50th out of 50 states in so many
of measure. Just a short time ago we were the engine
of America, and now it appears that we are the caboose. But
we have become
followers not because we do not have the people or the
resources or the spirit to lead, but because we have
a government that
for the last 5 years has done everything it can to dampen
we do not need government to lead us out of our last place
position. The very special people and
spirit of California will do that. We just need government
to get out of the people's way.
It has taken
5 long years of oppressive, special interest dominated, incompetent
government to make this state
the poster child
of crumble and decay. We will not reverse this overnight.
But reverse it we will.
it is always darkest before the dawn. It is very dark out now.
But an energized
bring back a new dawn. It will take a lot of time
and hard work. But California is worth it. And
it all, is still proud to be a Californian.