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Freedom First
by Ray Haynes [politician] 10/17/06 

If we have lost anything in this country, it is our sense of what is important in a political election.  Recently, in California’s election race, Oakland Mayor [and former Governor], Jerry Brown, called Chuck Poochigian an extremist because State Senator Poochigian believes in the Constitution.

Mayor Brown is a very smart and experienced politician. Obviously, he thought his accusation would get him votes.  That is very frightening.  An electorate that doesn’t soundly reject any politician who advocates ignoring the Constitution, expanding government power, and diminishing freedom is in serious trouble. 


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]

In so many ways, California is in serious trouble.  Quite frankly, there are just too few voters whose decision on issues and politicians are driven by protection of the fundamental American value of freedom.

Of course, a lot of politicians invoke that value in political discussions to justify their political positions.  Unfortunately, in California, fewer and fewer politicians believe that they need to use their defense of freedom as a reason to vote for them.  Like Brown, they just invoke some obscure fear as a reason for government expansion. The people then vote for him over someone, like Senator Poochigian, who will actually defend freedom and the Constitution.

There are bigger things to fear.  Like an all powerful government.

In the last week, Secretary of State records revealed that the League of California Cities gave over $2.5 million to oppose Proposition 90.  When the contributions from the California State Association of Counties ($400,000) and the California Redevelopment Association ($300,000) are added to the totals, the contributions to the No on 90 campaign from government supported organizations totals over $3.2 million.  In addition, the list of donors includes a laundry list of private organizations who make money off of big government, either as government vendors (such as lawyers, trash collectors, and street improvement contractors) or beneficiaries of the use of government powers (such as the developers who use eminent domain to take your property so they can pay less money for their development projects). 

Almost $5 million has been collected by the opposition.

The question is: how did they get that money?   How are the League, CSAC, and the CRA able to raise $3.2 million to contribute to a political campaign, when they a consortium of local government entities?  They say the money is “nonpublic” funds, but how can that be?  Are there private individuals whose favorite charities are lobbying organizations for government?  Or, are these just our taxes, laundered through some complicated scheme, into the campaign? Are those private organizations who are contributing to oppose property rights in California getting preferential treatment from these governments for helping to protect the power of these governments?  Or are they being forced to pay the money under threat of being denied some government permit to do business?  The whole thing stinks.

The former Soviet Union used to have elections, complete with campaigns.  The people were told they were free because they had a Constitution and elections, but the courts ignored the Constitution and the government hijacked the elections. If anyone had the audacity to challenge the existing power structure, they were first vilified, and then jailed. 

In California today, our courts routinely ignore our constitutionally guaranteed rights, such as property rights. And government uses our own tax dollars to vilify anyone who deigns to challenge the inappropriate assertion of government power, like those who support Proposition 90

Why should freedom be the overriding value in our political choices?  Unless we vigilantly defend and preserve freedom, evil things like government trying to hijack elections, will continue to occur.  The campaign against Proposition 90 has exposed this evil.  The only question is whether we will heed the warnings, or succumb to an all powerful government. CRO

Mr. Haynes is a California Assemblyman repesenting Riverside and Temecula and frequent contributor to CaliforniaRepublic.org.


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