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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.

Before and After
October 7 and beyond...
[John Campbell] 10/7/03


It is clear now that the race is between Gray Davis, Cruz Bustamante and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Any fellow conservatives still thinking of voting for State Senator Tom McClintock should understand that it is not a protest vote; it is a vote for Bustamante's agenda of raising taxes and lowering freedom and for unrestricted Indian gambling casinos.

In these final days, Davis is resorting to his tried and true yarn of falsely demonizing his opponents and misleading the public. He cannot run by defending his record because his record is indefensible. Our state has the worst credit rating of all 50 states, we are on the verge of insolvency, we are ranked between 46th and 50th as far as good places to create jobs and do business, and we have the fourth-highest taxes and a crumbling infrastructure. Davis just finished "renegotiating" contracts with state public employee unions just as those unions were giving him $2.7 million to defend him in the recall. Do you think taxpayers did well in those contract negotiations? No. But the unions got great deals for themselves. The old Gray Davis and the new Gray Davis are the same. He is still ruining our state economically. He is still blatantly giving everything to his special interest campaign contributors and nothing to taxpayers. He is still not telling you the truth. He is still the stereotypical example of incompetence and corruption that Gov. Hiram Johnson had in mind when he created the recall process. This governor has not changed. So, we should change the governor.

And we should change him to Arnold Schwarzenegger. One of Davis' standard attack lines on Arnold is that he has no experience. He certainly does not have a lifetime of experience solely in government as our current governor has. That's a good thing. What Arnold does have is tremendous experience in creating jobs, meeting budgets rather than breaking them, innovating, achieving the unachievable and in dealing with all the regulatory mess that lifetime politicians in Sacramento have given us.

Davis also says that Arnold has not been specific about what he will do as governor. Like many things Davis says, that is also blatantly untrue. Let me give you just a few things that Arnold has publicly said he will do as governor:

Immediately call a special session of the Legislature to enact real workers' compensation reform with a goal of cutting premiums in half.

He will not raise taxes to balance the budget. He will instead reduce regulation to allow more job creation to raise revenue in this state.

He will push for a constitutional amendment to limit the growth in state government to the growth in population and inflation.

He will expand choice options for parent of kids in failing schools by expanding charter school opportunities.

He will enact a ban on fund-raising for all state elected officials from the time the governor submits a state budget proposal until the time one is enacted.

He will fight for cleaner air and reduced emissions by leading the country in alternative fuel sources.

He will ask that legislative redistricting be done by court appointed masters, rather than the legislators themselves.

He will not sign any bill that has been amended too late for public input.

He will eliminate many restrictive categorical block grants to schools and give those schools the ability to save money by contracting out for services.

He will put together an independent audit of all state agencies to identify exactly where the waste and fraud in state government lurks.

And on and on and on. I could literally list dozens more specific proposals of Arnold's in the areas of education and the budget alone.

But the strength of Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor goes far beyond these details. Because of his persona, charisma and ability to communicate with people, he can go around the gerrymandered logjam that keeps any good legislation from passing in Sacramento and go straight to the people with his message. The 6 p.m. news in Los Angeles will cover Gov. Arnold talking about Workers' comp, even if there is a car chase going on. So he uniquely can not only create an agenda, he can move it. Please help to save California. Vote yes on the recall and for Arnold on Oct. 7th.


If Davis has been recalled, it will be proof that there is still some transparency in California government and it is comforting to know that politicians cannot get away with the kinds of things he has done in the last few years. But it does not mean that we will recall every governor. There has been a recall attempt against every California governor, except one, since the recall law was created in 1911. Very, very few succeed, however, because the public understands that you don't recall someone because you disagree with them; only because they are incompetent, untrustworthy or corrupt. I don't expect that to change.

If Davis has not been recalled, I expect that the state will be in or near bankruptcy by spring. The public will not see any change in this guy or in his outcomes for schools or the economy.

The thought of Cruz Bustamante as governor makes the keys on my keyboard shiver. He has already proposed to raise every tax there is. Don't be surprised if there are proposals to have Indian Casinos on "sacred land" in Costa Mesa either. John Fund, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, said last week that "if you took a walk through Cruz Bustamante's deepest thoughts, you would not get your ankles wet". Enough said.

If Arnold is governor, be prepared for the action hero to take action. This time of the year is usually one when legislators like me stay in our districts and not much happens in Sacramento. Not this year. Arnold understands the depth of our problems in the state budget, the economy and education and he will call special sessions and get moving on much of this before Christmas.

If Arnold is governor, the national press will not lose interest in this story or in California. California politics will stay as much of a staple on "Hardball" and the "CBS Evening News" as it has been in the last few months. If someone else is governor, interest will begin to wane until California's problems deepen again.

And in any case, many, many average Californians who were previously unengaged with state politics will stay engaged. This recall has shown them how the goings on in Sacramento directly affect them, and how they can affect Sacramento. No matter what the outcome, that will be a win for us all.


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