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Ray Haynes

Mr. Haynes is an Assembly member representing Riverside and Temecula. He serves on the Appropriations and Budget Committees. [go to Assembly Member Haynes website at California Assembly][go to Haynes index]

Tanned, Rested and Ready
Republicans are ready to lead...
[Ray Haynes] 11/11/03

If I had any complaints about the Assembly in the era of term limits, those complaints would center on the inability of the members of that body to make a decision. In the last three budget fights (the ones where real leadership was required because the deficits were enormous), the Assembly leadership punted to the Senate, because they didn’t want any of the decisions “pinned” to any Assembly initiatives. For example, on the budget, this last year, the Assembly subcommittees took all the programs, all the lines, and voted for them all at once, not allowing anyone to inspect individual spending programs as they had in the past, in order to avoid criticism. The result—a continuation of the bad decisions that got us into this budget mess.

The leadership thought it was good politics. No one could criticize them if they avoided a decision. In fact, when the Republicans actually came up with a detailed plan to solve the budget crisis, the Assembly leadership called a special session, spent four hours criticizing the Republican plan, and offered no plan as a substitute. It was an interesting strategy, and certainly helpful in keeping the budget crisis before the electorate in this recall year. Their lack of leadership (learned at the knee of Davis, whose lack of leadership was legend) helped reinforce the failures of the California Government in the minds of the public, which helped fuel the recall.

Now, in that true lack of leadership style, Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson recently warned Republicans that “now Republicans have to be careful, because now they have ‘responsibility’ for the policies in the state,” and any potential failures of those policies. No longer can Republicans just complain, he said, they have to be “responsible.”

Herb—we’re ready. Give us the reins, and we’ll do the job, do what’s right, and take responsibility. I have soaked my hands in Palmolive; I have had Madge do my manicure, and my hair is perfect. I am now ready to look good while I wield the gavel. Follow us and we will show you how it is done.

Republicans have an agenda. It is an agenda that shrinks the size of government, and promotes individual liberty. It is an agenda that promotes the free market as the best way for each person to feed their family, and distribute goods and services. It is an agenda that strengthens families and communities, and not large central government. Our agenda will reduce worker’s compensation costs, while better protecting workers who are really injured. It will reduce the cost of government in California, so that we can attract new jobs, new economic growth, and therefore more revenue for state government. It is an agenda where people aren’t rewarded for breaking the law, but they are rewarded with real choices and influence when they get involved in their child’s education. Our agenda will restore the luster to the Golden State by rewarding those who work hard, and discouraging those who don’t from relying on the rest of us to support them.

So—Herb—the people, by the votes in the previous election, have given you the responsibility. If you don’t want it, give it to us. We’re ready. The people have indicated to you, rather clearly, they don’t like the direction you were going. We’ll show you the way if you want, and we are ready to accept responsibility for it, and we’re even willing to share the credit for it, but you have to give us the power now. Otherwise, we’ll have to go to the people next November and ask for it then. We’re tanned, we’re rested, and we’re ready. All we need now is the chance to prove we’re right.


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