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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]

Clubbing Big Government
A Real Club For Growth In California
[Ray Haynes] 7/20/04

There are two reasons why people get involved with politics: (1) the personal pursuit of money and power; and (2) the pursuit of a political agenda related to personal beliefs about the role of government. There is also a dilemma in politics—the candidate or officeholder cannot pursue a political agenda based on principle unless he or she acquires campaign money and power. A candidate or officeholder whose only interest is the personal acquisition of money or power, however, oftentimes cannot win office unless he or she hides that ambition with some form of rhetoric about political principles, since most voters dislike a politician who is obviously motivated by personal ambition.

To the average voter, therefore, everyone who runs for office says they have principles, and all pursue power. It is very hard to discern whose decisions in office are actually motivated by principle and whose are motivated by the desire for power, because each decision can be justified by principle. It is an endless battle for the everyday voter.

The other problem for the politicians is that almost everyone who gives money to campaigns does so to obtain some sort of personal advantage from government. Whether it is a business or business organization, unions, trial lawyer or trial lawyer organizations, the overwhelming majority of them want something, usually money or power themselves, from the government. Some business organizations do want government off their backs, but there are a lot of businesses that want government contracts, or a regulatory edge over their competitors, and they give a lot of money. Trial lawyers and public employee unions can only exist if government gives them money and power, either from their members or from the courts. All of these groups will cloak their pursuit of government money and power with some veneer of principle as well, but, in the end, they are just looking for money. Politicians who help them get that money get more in contributions from those groups.

So—it is always interesting to find a group whose only interest is getting rid of government money and power. And—if that group is organized to funnel money to candidates whose only interest is lessening the power of government, a real player for liberty is born.

Just such an animal is the Club for Growth at the national level. Stephen Moore, the Club’s leader, says that the Club for Growth has two meanings. A club is a group of like-minded individuals pursuing a common goal. A club is also a large object with which to beat someone over the head. The Club for Growth is both—a group of like-minded individuals who use their group to beat politicians into promoting individual and economic liberty. They are not seeking anything from the government. They just want less government.

The group has been very successful in Congress. They have challenged big government politicians and installed those who support lower taxes, limited government and free enterprise. The group can discern between those who want power and those who believe in principle. They are fighting for the age old simple American belief in liberty. And they are winning.

California is about to get its own version of Club for Growth, and it’s about time. Too much of California’s politics has become dominated by people whose only desire is to use the power of government to obtain a larger piece of the economic pie. Encourage them in their effort, write them at, and ask them to fight for liberty. We need the help here in Sacramento. CRO


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