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Patrick Mallon - Columnist

Patrick Mallon is a freelance journalist and author of California Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis [read an excerpt]. His website is at and he can be contacted at [go to Mallon index]

California Dictatorship:
How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis

by Patrick Mallon

The inside story of the people´s revolt against an unresponsive and unpopular chief executive.
[Order it at Amazon.] Read an excerpt

California's Liberal Dictatorship
The demise of Gray Davis...
[Patrick Mallon]

My debut book, California Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis, describes the penalties facing Democrats at all levels for obstructing the will of the voters on almost every issue they cannot win at the ballot box or by legislation, while forcing their policies on a reluctant populace by judicial fiat.

Equally important is the level of public disdain and arrogance manifested by the representatives themselves in concert with loyal party operatives and a sympathetic elite press.

The book covers the period from the former governor’s first term in 1999 to his removal from office in 2003. It is a story of the rebellion of a populace so incensed with having their political voice repeatedly undermined that they could no longer see straight.

Because Davis personified the legislature's destructive policies, he served as the lightning rod for the voter’s cumulative resentment and bitterness. The story has national implications.

The Davis-Kerry Comparison

Before defining the target audience and summarizing core chapters, it is important to recognize that Gray Davis was grooming himself to run for president in 2004. Governors have that historical advantage. He had the resume, the impeccable educational credentials and served his country honorably in a war, while holding powerful positions in state government without drawing much attention.

He was steadily advancing up the ladder until his oval office dreams started to evaporate with the advent of the electricity crisis in 2000.

While Davis doesn't possess the physical presence of John Kerry, he is nonetheless rhetorically skilled and equally disciplined as a debater. Admittedly, both suffer on the charisma meter. Davis's tour of duty in Vietnam however, would never have undergone the agonizing characterization thrust on Senator Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans.

Though the military component is a singular aspect of the equation, and the electricity problem is distinct from any individual, national comparison, the substantive social issue that clearly drove conservative Republicans and traditional Democrats against the liberal elitism embodied by Davis and Kerry is the promotion of gay marriage.

This polarizing issue grew in prominence under Davis for four years, and was magnified nationally when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome opened City Hall to thousands of gay weddings that were later declared invalid. As California goes, so goes the nation? Not this time.

There is no way to downplay, weasel out of, or otherwise ignore this reality. In California, domestic partnership rules signed into law by Davis provide almost all the legal rights of marriage. After 61 percent of California voters passed Proposition 22, the law that defined marriage as that between a man and a woman, Davis called the law "divisive" and told the public to take a hike by creating a task force to sanction Vermont-style homosexual "civil unions."

The November 4, 2004 Wall Street Journal Review & Outlook was succinct on the issue: "Referendums against gay marriage went 11 for 11 on Tuesday, winning even in Oregon where the 57% to 43% landslide was the smallest majority among the 11. This is not a message of intolerance toward gays; it is a rebuke to those liberals who insist that courts impose their values on venerable American institutions."

The Target Audience

The book is dedicated to empowering fainthearted independent and conservative voters who have long been discouraged by the communal tyranny and social demolition of political correctness.

In June 2002, I began an investigative reporting assignment covering the California governor's race for This led to wider exposure when the recall became a national story by midsummer 2003.

When the governor was formally removed from office that October, I had made over 60 appearances on talk radio programs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, as well as national shows broadcast from Texas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York.

There was never any intention to do a book, but the story grew wings. When Hollywood personality Ben Stein called me on a Saturday night in July to say that he liked the manuscript and would write an endorsement, the book simply had to be completed.

I ignore the taboos of elite, mainstream journalism and dissect California's liberal dysfunction, exposing how a monopoly of Democratic Party ideologues exploited their unchecked power to bulldoze into law hugely unpopular policies.

The book explores in eye-opening detail how Davis defied the voters on taxes, immigration, gay rights, English-only laws impacting schools, and affirmative action, while leading the state to financial catastrophe.

Have Democrats learned their lessons? Hardly!

Sacramento is still a haven for Trojan Horse policies that threaten to undermine state government. Just ask Arnold.

Chapter Summary

I did not write this book to attack Gray Davis, but to deliver a respectful, albeit critical, examination of the policies and the party that operated to destroy the once-promising political career of a man who could have become president. This statement is not made dismissively. If Jimmy Carter could achieve the nation's highest office, so could have Davis.

  • However, Governor Davis decided to repeatedly adopt positions and employ strategies that ran counter to the intentions of the voting majority. Additionally, the state went from a $12 billion budget surplus when Davis took office in 1999 to a $40 billion deficit when he departed in 2003. That amounts to an imbalance of roughly $1 billion in expenditures exceeding income per month.
    Specific chapters describe:
  • Advisers and Consultants: Illustrates some of the more visible practitioners of the Machiavellian art of war, Democrat style. The unforgiving, calloused, no-surrender types who refuse to back down from a verbal confrontation while exploiting ideological double standards.
  • Gay Rights Trump Academics: As California K-12 academic performance plummeted to embarrassing levels, Davis appeared to be entirely beholden to, and was one of the major proponents of, a strategy to promote homosexual and transgender indoctrination into the classroom.
  • Defying the Voters on English-Only: When Latino parents, frustrated by lack of opportunities for their Spanish-speaking children, prompted the English-only initiative that passed by a 61 percent voter margin, Davis obstructed full implementation for political gain with minority opponents who called the law "racist."
  • The Electricity Crisis: As Davis addictively raised campaign cash, he dodged his duties and laid the blame on both the utility companies and the wholesale energy providers, while angry residents pointed fingers at the governor, renaming the blackouts "gray-outs."
  • Defying the Voters on Immigration: Davis tactically buried Proposition 187 in mediation. The law, passed by 58 percent of the voters in 1994, would have denied educational and taxpayer-funded services to illegal immigrants. When Davis and the Latino Caucus connived to grant driver's licenses to two million illegal immigrants in 2003, the governor sealed his fate.
  • The Recall and the End: "They can take a shot. Then they’ll get their ass kicked. Folks have been underestimating me for a long time. Don’t worry about it, man. I’ve won five elections in this state. And I’m not going to lose one."

Why Democrats Need to Heed the Warnings

Davis, and many Democratic politicians, are seeing their careers vanish because of a virulent strain of uncompromising liberalism; a simplistically seductive mindset that mandates a social revolution under the specious guise of tolerance and diversity, while impugning legitimate opposition with personal and racial epithets to avoid comparative accountability.

Democrats now face a crossroads: either find the middle ground as reasonable people do and adapt their agenda to growing numbers of activated voters of all demographics who want to protect what they have earned, or continue to attack the traditional family, excoriate American culture, strip morality from our value system, and debase conventional wisdom in the hopes of fooling half of the population who vote Democrat for no other reason than that they hate Republicans like George Bush.

My friend Jill Stewart described the situation best when she foretold in 1999 what would eventually happen to Davis and Sacramento's Democrats when they were in possession of unchallenged power:

"Single-party political systems have been disastrous throughout history because they are a formula for corruption, repression, and the cult of personality. Disregarding this maxim, California voters essentially created a one-party system in Sacramento last November when Democratic Governor Gray Davis won office and Democratic majorities were elected to both the state assembly and senate. As a lifelong Democrat who hates the Democratic Party because it is generally led by a mentally challenged bunch of smugly inept social engineers, I shuddered to consider the possibilities."

The 2004 election reinforced the omen of the 2003 recall, that Democrats and Republicans alike are rejecting the corrupted value system of a party that has been seized and controlled by the "new Democrats."
These are the miscreants who call demands that a registered voter produce an ID card to cast a ballot a form of “minority discrimination,” who call protecting traditional marriage bigotry, who deride moral and ethical concerns about partial-birth abortion as an attack on women, and who screech "racism" as an odious tactical weapon when the quality of their arguments fail.

Davis, like Kerry, violated raw standards of political character and falsely assumed that if he could control how his policies and actions were publicly dispersed in the cheering section of a like-minded print and TV media, the people would arrive at the intended interpretation. He bet the farm on public ignorance and exclusive reliance on these predisposed sources—and lost. The rise of talk radio and the Internet was instrumental in spreading the truth in such a sufficient quantity that underreported fact overcame widespread fiction.

My objective is to put forward a compelling story that warns future liberal dictators about the consequences of their excesses and attitudes and the penalties for ignoring the source from which their power resides and ends—the people. It is for you, the reader, to judge whether the author has succeeded.

Attitude is everything, and when an elected official reveals the contempt they hold either for their opponent or for the voters, it has a merciful way of catching up with them. Senator Kerry, after apparently winning all three debates with the president, said "I can't believe I'm losing to this idiot." Gray Davis called the effort to recall him from office "sour grapes by a bunch of losers."

It has been said that cultural liberalism continues to cost Democrats elections. It cost one man in the Golden State his career. Read about it in California Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis. CRO

California Dictatorship: How Liberal Extremism Destroyed Gray Davis, can be purchased at and Barnes & Also see

Patrick will be on with Melanie Morgan on KSFO-560, San Francisco (11/22 at 8:00 a.m. PST), and Larry Rifkin on 1320 WATR in Waterbury, CT (12/11 at 1:30 p.m. EST). He can be contacted at

This piece first appeared at
copyright 2004 Patrick Mallon


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