national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]

















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]

Observations on the Election pt. 1
State Senator-elect John Campbell…
[John Campbell] 11/5/04

First and foremost, thank all of you for your support, votes and encouragement over my past 4 years in the Assembly. On Tuesday, the voters of the 35th Senate District elected me as their State Senator by a margin of 63% to 32% with 5% going to the Libertarian candidate. To put this in perspective, when all the votes are counted I am likely to have received just a few thousand fewer votes for State Senator than John Thune got to be elected to the U.S. Senate from South Dakota. That is because there are about 80,000 more people in a California State Senate seat than there are in the whole state of South Dakota. Go figure. In any event, I am honored to be entrusted with your confidence and look forward to serving in the "upper house." I will be sworn into office in Sacramento on December 6th. It also means you will be getting at least 4 more years of this weekly column. I hope you think that's a good thing too!


On the national scene, I don't think people have quite recognized the enormity of the President's victory on Tuesday. Now, I understand that he won by only 3% of the popular vote and beat Kerry by about 40 electoral college votes. But, for the first time since his father did it in 1988, he won a majority (as opposed to a plurality) of the popular vote. Bill Clinton, despite his supposed great popularity, never came close to receiving 50% of the vote because of the presence of Ross Perot on the ballot in most states.

Secondly, The President's party gained 4 seats in the U.S. Senate and at least 2 seats in the House thereby increasing Republican majorities in both chambers. Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton all won reelection by much bigger popular vote and electoral college margins than has President Bush. But none of those Presidents was able to lead their party to majorities in both houses and increase those majorities in their second term. Even though Nixon and Reagan were each reelected with a huge mandate by winning 49 out of the 50 states, there was not much they could do with that mandate since Democrats controlled both houses of Congress throughout their second terms. George W. Bush's mandate is arguably greater because the people have given him an even greater majority in both houses to turn ideas into action.


Unless there are some differences caused by late ballot counting , there will be no change in the makeup of either the State Assembly or the State Senate. The Assembly will remain 48-32 and the Senate 25-15, both in favor of Democrats. In spite of the fact that the public's approval rating of the state legislature is near an all-time low, not a single incumbent was defeated and not a single seat changed from one party to the other. This is because of the "safe" Democratic and Republican seats that were drawn up in the last redistricting. A friend of mine who lives in the Bay Area emailed me yesterday surmising that it was easier to defeat a member of the Soviet Politburo than it is to defeat a California legislative incumbent in a safe seat.

An example of this is the 21st Assembly district in the Bay Area. It was drawn as a Democratic seat. But the seat had no incumbent this year and a Republican challenger by the name of Steve Poizner emerged. Steve is a technology entrepreneur who recently sold his company for hundreds of millions of dollars. He is very moderate, well known in the area, and has served as a volunteer teacher at a local high school since selling his company. In other words, he is a perfect match to the district. He spent $6 million of his own money in the campaign for the seat, and, although he has not yet conceded the race, he is 4 points behind as of today.

The moral of this story? If a Republican like that, spending that kind of money can't win in a Democratic seat with no incumbent, can anybody ever do it? Or for that matter, can a Democrat beat a Republican in a safe Republican seat? The answer to this problem is to have fair districts drawn by court appointed impartial masters according to guidelines which have nothing to do with the registration of the voters there. We will all be more accountable to our constituents if that occurs. I think you will be hearing more about this in the coming months. CRO



Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005