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The Debate

McClintock: Down to the wire... 10/6/03

An Open Letter to Tom McClintock Supporters
[Bob Chandra]

It seems like an eternity that we've been under the yoke of the Davis administration. Maybe you feel the same way too. When the recall petition began circulating, we responded. All told, 1.6 million of us said we were fed up with the entrenched politicians. Together, we showed how populism can work when we join forces. So here we are- a week till Election Day. And you, the supporters of Tom McClintock, hold in the balance the fate of California. Your choice determines whether we throw off the chains of the Davis-Bustamante regime or condemn ourselves to three more years of it. It's a substantial charge and I know that you won't take it lightly.

Tom McClintock is a fine statesman and has run a solid race. Undoubtedly, he's a rising star in the GOP. But this is not his time. From the Los Angeles Times poll conducted from September 6th to the PPIC poll released on September 17th, Tom lost 4% of his support and is polling at 14%. This is half the support level of Schwarzenegger and Bustamante. Because polls show he lacks momentum, Tom has no realistic chance of winning. Tom will be back for another statewide race, perhaps even running for US Senate next year against Barbara Boxer. We can count on that. But for now, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the one Republican who can win this race. The reason that conservatives such as Bill Simon and former California Republican Party chairman Shawn Steel have endorsed Arnold is that he alone can deliver us from the misery we've suffered under Davis-Bustamante rule. And these conservatives know that Arnold will uphold conservative principles in opposing driver's licenses for illegals, rescinding Davis's tripling of the car tax, and opposing partial birth abortion. It's essential to realize that Arnold shares your values, he's on your side, and he needs your support to remove Gray Davis from power and keep Cruz Bustamante from seizing Davis's throne.

A Bustamante victory on Election Day would be disastrous. The first thing Bustamante would do as governor is increase taxes on us by $8 billion. This is the promise he made under his infamous "tough love" program. And since Bustamante hasn't showed the slightest interest in curbing spending, we can expect one punitive tax increase after another. And let us not forget Bustamante's ties to the racist organization, MEChA, whose slogan is "For the race, everything. For everyone else, nothing." Bustamante's commitment to border enforcement will be zero. He backs the bill giving driver's licenses for illegals despite the fact that terrorists could slip through this security loophole and gain valid US identification. As bad as it's been under Gray Davis, Cruz Bustamante would be worse. We cannot risk electing him to office. Yet this will be the result if we split the vote between Arnold and McClintock.

The time has come to unite as a party. Recently, the "father" of the recall, Darrel Issa, endorsed Schwarzenegger for governor. If it were not for Issa's heroic efforts, this recall may have not come about. At the endorsement event, Issa said, "I want to reach out directly to Senator McClintock's supporters and appeal to them to join me in voting for Arnold Schwarzenegger. We worked hard together to make this recall a reality. We must be united in these final days to ensure its ultimate success." Issa's message is simple: We can win but we must be united to do so. Democrats are united behind Bustamante; we must unite behind our strongest candidate. Voter anger at Davis and Bustamante gives Republicans a unique opportunity to prevail in this election, but unity is essential if we are to fulfill the recall's promise. When the Founding Fathers were debating about measures to confront the British, Benjamin Franklin said memorably, "We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately." Let's bear that in mind. The consequence of voting for McClintock at this stage is a three-year hangover that will be the Cruz Bustamante administration.

We the people have it in our ability to remove the Davis-Bustamante regime from power. But your support is needed. Arnold, and more importantly, California, needs you.

Bob Chandra is a Bay Area Republican activist. He was involved as a strategist for Linda Rae Hermann's campaign against Mike Honda for California's 15th congressional district, and he currently serves as a commissioner for the Saratoga library.


Memo to: The Republican Establishment
[Joe Armendariz]

First it was the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and now it is the California Taxpayers Association. Both groups have decided to reject the ONLY candidate in the race, to replace Davis, that has signed the "No Tax Pledge". Instead, both groups have seen fit to endorse a candidate who continues to say he wants to keep tax-increases on the table. He claims to need to do that in the event of a natural disaster and all those kinds of things...

We all know the best way to deal with major earthquakes, floods, fires, volcano's and/or terrorist attacks is to raise taxes. Several people are growing extremely frustrated by my unwavering support for the only candidate in the race who has signed the no-tax-pledge and who has consistently expressed unconditional support for the oil industry and the high paying jobs it sustains.

I don't know why. After all, the catchphrase of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association is: Promoting Lower Taxes. And the catchphrase for the Santa Barbara Industrial Association is: Promoting our quality of life through job prosperity. As the executive director of both organizations; why would anybody be surprised I support McClintock?

In both pursuits, McClintock is my natural ally, while Arnold remains a question mark. His refusal to rule out raising taxes is problematic. His support for one of the worst abominations ever created; the California Coastal Commission is tragic. His opposition to Offshore Oil is political correctness writ large. His support for the government classifying us by the color-of-our-skin as opposed to the content-of-our-character, is nothing more than political pandering to one of the lowest life-forms in California; Hypocritical-Race-Baiters.

All of those curious positions means Arnold is fundamentally at odds with many of the values and principles I hold dear and am paid to advocate for. If my members expect me to support Arnold's platform, they would be more comfortable joining the Environmental Defense Center, or the Santa Barbara County Action Network, or Latinos for Better Government.

There are some who consider the Republican Party as a convenient place to exploit their political ambition and unbridled narcissism. They also tend to use the political process as a vehicle to legitimize their narrowly defined special interest. I have always believed, and continue to believe, the reason God created the Republican Party was to cut taxes. Moreover, I consider politics the art of the possible and the process by which a free people govern themselves and have done so quite successfully, although not always pleasantly, for 227 years.

I have nothing against Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think he is a fascinating guy with a tremendous amount of personal qualities. And I think he would someday make a great governor, Senator, or anything else he pours his heart and talents into. And if he should become the next Republican Governor of California (which I believe he will), and sooner rather than later, I will probably spend more time defending him and AND his policies (assuming they are defensible) than all of the Republicans who have criticized me, for supporting McClintock, put together.

I will also continue to support McClintock, because I don't believe in punishing politicians for being politicians. And I will do "all those kinds of things" because I am a defender of the principles we care about and an advocate for the causes we believe in. That is who I am, like it or not, for better or worse.

Joe Armendariz is Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Industrial Association and the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association.



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