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John Campbell

John 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 website and through the website for his California Senate campaign.

Recall Script
A Governor Arnold would be good for O.C.
[John Campbell] 09/18/03

Before I get started, I must make a confession. I am not impartial relative to the recall. Those of you who are regular readers, may utter a resounding "Duh, you're not impartial about anything." That may have some truth to it. But before I go on and talk about the recall, it is important that you know that I was one of the first state legislators to endorse the recall and am a state co-chair of Rescue California, the yes on recall committee. I have also endorsed Arnold Schwarzenegger to be governor and am an economic advisor to his campaign.

Now that we have that out of the way, we in Orange County find ourselves in the middle of the biggest national political story of the year. The entire country is watching our state and our county to see if we again establish a new trend that affects the rest of the nation. The TV show, "The O.C." may not accurately reflect our community, but launching new political winds on the scene is something to which we are accustomed.

Here are my observations and predictions on several aspects of this fascinating and important story:

Gray Davis and Question No. 1 of the Recall: Davis' spin is that the recall has been the effort of only the "right-wing conspiracy." But yet, sampling has shown that nearly 30 percent of those signing the petitions were registered Democrats. Furthermore, Davis' approval rating is abysmally low with Democrats and Republicans alike. Davis' recent dive to the left may help him get more money from the union bosses and trial lawyers, but it will not help him with the people. In the focus groups that I have witnessed, voters understand that you don't recall someone just because you disagree with them. Those voters believe you only recall for incompetence, untrustworthiness and being owned by special interests. Arguably, Davis' slavish devotion to the trial lawyers and union bosses is functionally similar to the same concerns with the railroads that prompted Republican Gov. Hiram Johnson to put the recall in the constitution in 1911. Voters believe that Davis meets that standard and will recall him on Oct. 7.

Cruz Bustamante: He is a former Assembly Speaker and now lieutenant governor about whom few people had heard before now which is a testimony to the undersized nature of his accomplishments. Before the recall, he was considered third among Democrats in the running for governor in 2006 and has always been supported primarily by Indian gambling interests. In the face of our current economic problems in California, he has recently offered that under his governorship he would 1) raise taxes by over 15 percent, 2) force even more businesses and jobs out of the state with a mandate that businesses fund his own version of "Hillary care" national health coverage and, 3) have that paragon of good judgment, the Public Utilities Commission, set prices and availability of gasoline so that we can have higher prices and shortages together. These ideas are so unspeakably bad that even socialists from other countries rarely dare to suggest them because they have all been tried and failed before. He would probably lose in a contested Democratic primary because he is too far "out there" for most Democrat voters. He will take the worst policies of the Davis administration and expand them. But, he is the only Democrat on the ballot that will be supported with lots of funding so he will finish second in the recall.

Tom McClintock: He is a good man - smart, experienced and capable. McClintock's best chance for statewide office may still be ahead of him. He should drop out of the race as Issa, Simon and Ueberroth have done because they were unable to get traction with the public. McClintock shouldn’t play the role of spoiler to allow Bustamante to get in because the votes of all but the far left of the electorate get split.

Arnold Schwarzenegger: I have had the pleasure of spending quite a bit of time with Schwarzenegger over the last few weeks. We all know the celebrity. We all know the tough, body-building action hero. I can tell you that Schwarzenegger, the man, is very bright, determined, competitive and courageous.

He is not afraid to tackle a problem as huge as the messed-up economy in California right now because he has spent a lifetime accomplishing things people said he couldn't do. He was told he couldn't succeed in the United States, his body was the wrong type to win bodybuilding championships and he would not succeed as an actor. He did all of that and he can do this.

Unlike Gray Davis, who is well known for micromanagement, Arnold is surrounding himself with nationally known experts in their fields. He will right our economic ship by doing real reform of worker's compensation insurance and other job killers, reducing spending, improving education and not raising taxes. His vision is the polar opposite of the collectivist proposals of the Davis/Bustamante team. As governor, he will have the unique ability to use his persona and special appeal to get his message out to people who have not heard much from politicians before, and that will make him effective. He will unite Republicans, independents and moderate Democrats to reverse five years of failed programs and restore the California spirit of enterprise, creativity, and discovery. And he will win.

And under Gov. Schwarzenegger, Orange County will fare much better than it does today. There are 14 members of the state legislature that represent some part of Orange County and 11 of those 14 are Republicans. A Republican governor will mean that Orange County will no longer be the political backwater of Sacramento to which the current one-party government there has relegated us. Secondly, five members of Arnold's economic recovery team are from Orange County including myself, Dr. James Doti of Chapman University and businessmen Paul Folino, Carlos Olamendi and Larry Florez. As Governor Arnold puts together other appointments and advisors, Orange County is likely to be very well represented again.

Because this recall is such uncharted political territory, predictions are risky. Not much of what I hoped would happen in California elections have come to pass in the last eight years. But the people can see what these last five years of unfettered Democratic control have done to this state. And they feel what three more years would do. I think they are ready for a change. So just like in the movies, maybe this time the good-guy hero will win.


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