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Jon Coupal- Columnist

Jon Coupal is an attorney and president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- California's largest taxpayer organization with offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento. [go to website]

Who Should Be the Next Governor?

A taxpayer endorsement from HJTA
[Jon Coupal]

You don't need to be told that California taxpayers face the greatest crisis since the passage of Proposition 13, twenty-five years ago. Backed by special interests, inside and outside of government, the Legislature and the governor have irresponsibly increased spending so fast that that there is no way that revenue can keep up without massive tax increases. Politicians, who want to continue the lavish spending, have become so brazen that for the first time many are now talking about repealing Proposition 13! This category includes Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association endorsed the recall of Gray Davis because we believe that gross incompetence IS grounds for removing the governor!

With the expectation that the recall will be successful, taxpayers must now make a decision that will be critical to the state for years to come. Who should be the next governor?

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a membership organization founded by Howard Jarvis, does not endorse candidates. However, the legally separate Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Political Action Committee (HJTA-PAC), also established by Howard Jarvis, does support candidates.

In reviewing the field, and focusing on the serious candidates, HJTA-PAC found only three that were acceptable to taxpayers.

State Senator Tom McClintock has a record on tax issues second to none in Sacramento.

Peter Ueberroth has proven himself as an outstanding administrator, a quality severely lacking in the governor's office.

Arnold Scharzenegger has achieved the American Dream, starting at the bottom as an immigrant and rising to the top of his profession, while achieving success in business.

All are unequivocal in their public support for Proposition 13.

Warren Buffett, the world's second richest man and an advisor to Scharzenegger, suggested recently that Californians were not paying high enough property taxes. Outrageous! However, Arnold Scharzenegger has been a Proposition 13 supporter for twenty-five years, has publicly and privately reiterated his total support for Proposition 13, and has rebuked Buffett for his comments.

Unfortunately, having three good candidates is also a problem for taxpayers. How do we return fiscal sanity to the governor's office with the taxpayer vote divided? This is why HJTA-PAC undertook the extremely difficult process of trying to pick the best candidate for the October 7 election -- an election that will either confirm Gray Davis or elect a successor from a wide field without the benefit of a primary election.

Ultimately, the decision was made based on confirmed support for Proposition 13, a positive program that includes respect for taxpayers, the ability to reach out and bring new supporters to the taxpayers' cause, and electability in a free-for-all election.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Political Action Committee is endorsing Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor. We hope that taxpayers will support our choice. We believe he will be an outstanding governor for taxpayers and that he has the best chance to keep the state out of the hands of the enemies of Proposition 13.

In addition to endorsing him, we are strongly recommending that Schwarzenegger find a prominent place for the wise counsel of both McClintock and Ueberroth in his administration.

However, we want all Proposition 13 supporters to know that if you back another candidate, we respect your decision. And if you do support another candidate, we hope you will respect the process we went through to make our difficult choice.


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