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Groundhog Day
Reliving the same liberal Legislature over and over and over…
[Ray Haynes] 2/13/06

Remember the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day? One of my favorite scenes is set in the bowling alley, with Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, talking to a drunk:

Phil: What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered.

Drunk: That sums it up for me.

Think about it. Isn’t that California, particularly its Legislature? The Democrats have been in charge of the Legislature for all but 4 years since 1958, and it seems like California is just like Phil Connor. I just hope that I am not the drunk, because Phil’s comment pretty much sums up the California Legislature for me.


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]

This last week, I was in the Assembly, just like I was in January, 1994. In 1994, I was tangentially involved in trying to qualify the three strikes law, the law that would put repeat serious or violent felons in prison for the rest of their life if they committed one more felony of any type. If you remember, in 1993, when the initiative for three strikes started, California’s crime rate had been soaring for years, while every attempt to pass “tough on crime” laws died in the Assembly Public Safety Committee. In those days, three left-wing bay area Democrat liberals killed every single law intended to protect the people of the state of California from the worst in our state. Attempts to increase prison sentences died time after time after time, while the majority party continued to insist that they were not soft on crime.

Then Polly Klaas was killed, and something snapped in the people of the state of California. They had had enough, and they passed the three strikes law by initiative, while the lefties continued to insist that enforcement would be too expensive, prisons would become overcrowded, and the law would have no effect on the crime rate.

In the two years following the passage of Three Strikes, however, the crime rate dropped, and prison population did not grow. Violent felons in this state were looking for ways to get out of California so they wouldn’t spend the rest of their life in jail. When the crime rate dropped, Californians forgot just how bad crime had been before three strikes.

Zoom forward to today. Jessica’s law is a law intended to punish the worst of this state’s child molesters by putting them in jail for the rest of their lives. Now, just like Phil Connors in Groundhog Day, California is stuck in the 1990’s rhetoric of the left. Jessica’s law won’t work: it is too expensive; it won’t stop child molesters; it won’t treat them; and it will invade their civil liberties. Just like three strikes, the lefties tried to pass a watered down version of Jessica’s law to avoid the label of being soft on crime.

They are wrong again, and the people of this state know it. A lifetime tracking method for child molesters is necessary to protect our children. Keeping them away from our schools is necessary. Putting them in jail from 25 years to life is necessary. Punishing those who possess even one piece of child pornography to stop the sexual exploitation of our children is necessary. Jessica’s law, like three strikes, was killed in the Assembly Public Safety Committee, and, like three strikes, it will have to go before the voters to become law.

It is Groundhog Day, and it seems that nothing that the people do matters. When will we ever learn? We can’t do everything by initiative, but as long as people keep electing these lefties, our children and our communities will be at risk, over and over and over again. -CRO-

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


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