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Tom McClintock

Mr. McClintock is an expert on matters of the State budget and fiscal discipline. He is a Senator in the California State Legislature and ran for Controller on the Republican ticket in 2002. His valuable website is found at

the Shadow Governor
The Hour Has Come
McClintock Speech to Recall Rally July 26
[Tom McClintock] 7/31/03

I want to salute Ted Costa—whose foresight and courage began this effort while the pundits laughed. Howard Kaloogian and Sal Russo who instantly stood up to join the effort. Darryl Issa whose devotion and generosity accelerated the drive and who has borne the attacks of Davis and his henchman. And all of the radio hosts across California who have sounded the call to action.

You have brought us to this moment in history.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the hour of California's redemption has arrived—IF we are ready to fight for it.

I believe this is the historic turning point that can restore our state's public works, bring its bureaucracies back under control, and roll back the regulations and taxes that are choking our economy. To do so, we must have a Governor who knows every crevice of this government and is willing to challenge, to confront and to defeat the spending lobby that controls it.

Let me tell you what I will do in the first hour of this new administration.

The moment I have taken the oath of office, I'll sign the order to rescind the illegal tripling of California's Car Tax. If this governor can claim that he has the authority to raise the car tax by fiat, then by God I'll claim the same authority to lower it right back down by fiat.

I'll then sign a stipulation to the Superior Court in Pasadena in the case I filed last year to void the $42 billion of outrageously priced electricity contracts that Davis approved. Those contracts were negotiated under a clear legal conflict of interest by Davis' chief negotiator. This governor won't stipulate to these simple facts because it would require him to admit wrongdoing. I'll certainly admit Davis has done some things wrong!

Then I will sign a third document, calling a special session of the legislature to deal with our Workers Compensation insurance crisis. They will have 30 days to enact Arizona's Workers Compensation law—slashing workers comp costs by 2/3. And if they fail in 30 days, I'll take it to the ballot and let them explain to the people why they refused to act while our job market was collapsing.

With those three documents—and a governor with the will to act—we can reduce taxes by over $4 billion, dramatically lower electricity prices, and roll back the costs of Workers Compensation that are destroying jobs in our state.

And all that before lunch.

And the rest of the day, I'll spend personally de-funding every state agency that duplicates local or federal jurisdictions, or overlaps other state agencies or that is performing functions that the private sector could and should do anyway.

We can do this. Last fall, I received more cross-over Democratic votes, more independent votes and more total votes than any other Republican on the ballot. Running for Controller, I received 103,000 votes more than our candidate for Governor. I believe the hour has come.

My parents moved our family to California in 1965. They came here seeking a better future for their children. My Dad had been out of work for over a year; my Mom was a homemaker. And yet they came here that summer and immediately found good jobs and a home of their dreams. On a modest income, they bought a 4-bedroom ranch style home with a 40-foot swimming pool and a third-acre fully landscaped. They bought that home for $35,000.

California was indeed the Golden State. Taxes were low. Jobs were plentiful. The highways were the finest in the world. My Dad commuted 40 miles to downtown Los Angeles every morning—about a 45-minute drive in rush-hour. Our hydro-electric and nuclear plants were making electricity so cheap, that electricity meters were supposed to become obsolete within ten years. Our water storage was so immense that many communities didn't bother with water meters. Coming from Westchester County, New York, where the schools were supposed to be the best in the country, I had to scramble to catch up with California's schools.

I remember that state. I lived there. It was real. It's been taken from us. Ladies and gentlemen, don't you think that it's high time that we took it back?

The home my parents bought for $35,000—if it were new—should be selling today for $180,000 with inflation. But the homes in that neighborhood—now 40 years older—now cost more than twice that.

My parents wouldn't have been able to even think of affording that house today. They wouldn't have been able to find work, either. We lost more than 200,000 jobs last year. And if they had found the work, they couldn't have gotten there—Downtown Los Angeles is now TWO HOURS from Thousand Oaks in rush hour.

They couldn't have afforded their taxes either. That year, the state spent a little over 6-dollars from every hundred that people earned. Today, Davis is spending a record of nearly 10-dollars out of every hundred you earn.

If my family—and every family like ours—came looking for a better future for their kids today—they wouldn't find it in California.

Those families today look at our state, with its bountiful resources; with the most equitable climate on the entire continent; with every blessing that God could possibly bestow upon a land—and they're finding a better place to live and work and raise their families out in the desolation of the Arizona and Nevada deserts.

No conceivable act of God could ever wreak such devastation upon our state. Only government could do that. And it has.

And the good news of this election is—WE CAN CHANGE THAT. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the chance to make our state over again.

One by one, Californians are realizing that their decision comes down to fight or flight. Many are fleeing. But many more know that this state is worth fighting for.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the next 74 days, this generation of Californians has the historic responsibility to restore to our children the GOLDEN STATE that our parents gave to us.

Are you ready? Then let's roll!



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