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]
















The Canary Is On Life Support
Distress in the Schwarzenegger Administration...
[Ray Haynes] 12/5/05

I am going to apologize in advance for the metaphors to follow, but they do make the point.

Politics is a lot like football. It is a team sport for individuals with similar goals. The team advances its agenda, sometimes in small increments, moving the ball toward “victory.” The only real difference between football and politics is that the players can change positions frequently. Sometimes a politician is the quarterback, sometimes he or she is the lineman. In all cases, everyone wins if they effectively execute the play that is called in the huddle.

I know I am a lineman in the game of California politics. I’m willing to get stepped on, smashed up, or hurt for my quarterback, as long as I know he is going to advance my team down the field to victory.

I have been loyal to our Governor because I have always believed that he was throwing the ball to our team. I have not always agreed with his strategy, but I have been confident we were on the same team. Last week, I lost that confidence.


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]

I endorsed the Governor in the recall because I thought, at the time that the best thing for conservatives was to win the recall. We started it back in February of 2003, and we needed to ensure we finished it by defeating Gray Davis. Many Republicans opposed the recall because they believed that it was too risky and that it might ultimately strengthen Democrats. I was told that by prominent Republicans leaders that my early support of the recall was foolish. I thought it was the right thing to do.

At the time I endorsed Schwarzenegger for Governor, he and Cruz Bustamante were tied in the polls. If the recall had resulted in a Governor Bustamante, it would have destroyed the influence of conservatives in California. Schwarzenegger won, running on conservative themes of fiscal responsibility and opposing taxpayer benefits for illegal aliens. The conservatives who began the recall were vindicated.

During my time in the Legislature, I have given this Governor my unqualified support because, despite our differences, I thought he would throw the ball to our team. I would get my fingers bloodied and my nose broken, blocking the bad guys, to advance the ball. I thought the people of California owed this Governor the benefit of the doubt, because I believed he was trying to do the right thing.

Years ago, in the days of less-sophisticated mining technology, miners would take a canary into the cave with them to detect dangerous gases. If the canary dropped dead while they were working, the miners knew to get out of the mine immediately, because they were being exposed to dangerous gases.

The canary is demonstrating serious signs of distress in this administration. It may be too early to draw the ultimate conclusion from the appointment of Susan Kennedy, but Kennedy was at the center of the Oracle scandal, the energy crisis, and the budget debacles of the Davis Administration. She is the hazardous gas we must watch in this dangerous mine of government.

I am always willing to be a lineman on the football team, but only if the quarterback is intending to throw the ball to my team. This week, the Governor deliberately threw the ball to the other team. The “benefit of the doubt” has now been eliminated. Time may ultimately prove me wrong, and this appointment might be a creative strategy that advances the agenda in which I believe, but I don’t trust Kennedy to advance that agenda, and I’m reluctant to put my faith in a quarterback who would put her in charge.

The canary is on life support. It is now time for the people of the state of California to pay attention. We can no longer take it for granted that the ball is going to be thrown to our team. CRO

Mr. Haynes is a California Assembleyman representing Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to


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