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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. [go to Campbell index]

The Week NYC & Sacramento
Girlie men and bad votes
[John Campbell] 9/6/04

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave the keynote speech at the Republican convention on Tuesday night. In case you didn't see it or hear it, I thought it was one of the finest speeches I have heard recently. The points he made were very clear, well delivered and artfully articulated. It was poignant to have such a patriotic speech delivered with his Austrian accent.

I thought that one of the best parts was when he described how you could know if you are a Republican. Because many "mainstream" media outlets did not report it, here is that excerpt:

"My fellow immigrants, my fellow Americans, how do you know if you are a Republican? Well, I'll tell you how.

If you believe that government should be accountable to the people, not the people to the government...then you are a Republican! If you believe that a person should be treated as an individual, not a member of an interest group...then you are a Republican! If you believe that your family knows how to spend your money better than the government does...then you are a Republican!

If you believe our educational system should be held accountable for the progress of our children...then you are a Republican!

If you believe that this country, not the United Nations, is the best hope of democracy in the world...then you are a Republican

And, ladies and gentlemen ... if you believe we must be fierce and relentless and terminate terrorism ...then you are a Republican!

There is another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people ... and faith in the U.S. economy. And to those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: "Don't be economic girlie men!"

Well said Governor......even the "girlie men" part!

What a difference a vote makes: Many times people will say to me that having Republicans pick up a seat or two in the Assembly or the Senate doesn't matter that much unless we take control of the house. Last week, the fallacy of that notion was proven in practice.

During four out of the last five days of session, one of the most liberal members of the Assembly was not on the floor due to an illness in his family. During those 4 days, more bills failed passage than I recall in my previous 3 years here put together. Often, they failed by a single vote.

Had this member been here, he would have clearly voted for all of them. At one point, another Democratic member rose to put up a "courtesy" aye vote on a particular bill on behalf of the missing member so that the bill passed by that single vote. When that member returned on the last day, several of the bills that had failed passage earlier in the week now passed with his vote.

And that was just over the last week. Over the course of the two year legislative cycle dozens of bills only receive the bare minimum of 41 votes.

So, can a single vote or a single seat in the legislature make a difference? You bet. I saw it first hand last week. CRO



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