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]
















California Is Worth Fighting For
Speech to the California Republican Party Convention...
[Tom McClintock] 2/8/06

“What are greater: the differences among us as Republicans or the difference between us and the Democrats?”

Three years ago, in one of the highest voter turnout elections in California history, the Republican candidates for governor received a combined 62 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 31 percent – literally two votes to one.

Now that’s a fact. And it’s an important one, because it’s a fact that we have the opportunity to repeat – and then some – less than nine months from now.

Three years ago, Californians knew that their futures were on the line – they were paying rapt attention – they looked past party labels and actually listened to what each of the candidates had to say. And when they did, they abandoned the Democrats and flocked to our cause by a two-to-one margin.

And today, the same patterns are again emerging.

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 Governor in the 2003 recall election. His valuable website is found at [McClintock index]

This year, the Democrats will nominate either Steve Westly, who is the emptiest suit I have ever encountered in a quarter century of California politics, or Phil Angelides, that self-anointed elitist who’s convinced that darn it, he’s just so good at running his own life that he’s now entitled to run everybody else’s.

Over the next 14 weeks, they are going to spend more than $40 million beating the political pulp out of each other. (Now, I know what you’re thinking – that’s going to be fun to watch on T.V. But folks, let’s not be a party of couch potatoes – that’s a sport we can ALL enjoy playing).

And by the time Westly and Angelides are done with each other, there are precisely three things that every Californian will know as absolute, undeniable, categorical, self-evident, gospel truth: the sun will always rise over the Sierras and set on the Pacific; Steve Westly ripped off millions of dollars through shady insider trading deals; and Phil Angelides ripped off millions of dollars by destroying the environment through shady development deals.

And while they’re doing their worst to tear each other apart, we need to do our best to come together, to showcase our Republican principles, and to take them to everyone who will listen -- especially those millions of Californians who have never thought of themselves as Republicans – but who believe as we believe and who share our values, our dreams and our vision for the future.

I have often heard it said that “well, principles are fine, but it’s the winning that matters.” And I do not entirely disassociate myself from those sentiments.

But we would do well to remember that when we have stood by our principles, ultimately, we have won. And in the end, if we don’t stand by our principles, what is the point of winning?

Great parties are built upon great principles, and they are judged by their devotion to those principles.

This party has every right and every duty to clearly and proudly define those principles upon which we stand – and to follow Ronald Reagan’s winning advice to paint these positions in bold colors and not hide them in pale pastels.

We have a duty to every voter who has trusted our party to take a strong stand for balanced and frugal budgets – and for a government that takes only what it needs and spends what it needs wisely.

We have a duty to take a strong stand for judges who will place themselves under the constitution – and not over it.

We have a duty to take a strong stand to preserve entry level jobs that the poor desperately need to get a foothold in life.

But if every candidate doesn’t agree on every issue, let us also remember Reagan’s wise words that, “anyone who is with you 80 percent of the time is your 80 percent friend – not your 20 percent enemy.”

I don’t agree with my wife on absolutely everything. But I still love her. And I don’t agree with this Governor on absolutely everything. But I still support him.

During the recall, Gov. Schwarzenegger and I differed on many things. But we united around basic principles of our party. Representing different Republican constituencies, we both campaigned to relieve the taxes that were crushing California’s working families; we both campaigned to roll back the regulations that were choking our economy and destroying our jobs, and we both campaigned to revive our state’s long-neglected public works.

And two thirds of California rose up and joined us.

That is the Republican vision for California, it is the destiny of California and with the support of the people it is the future of California as long as WE stay together and as long as WE stay the course.

So let the word go forth from this convention that on the basic principles and policies that defined the recall election and that brought about this administration – and upon the general direction set by this governor – there is solid and steadfast commitment throughout the wide base of our party.

And it doesn’t stop there – that support reaches deeply into Democratic and Independent constituencies as well.

Let us never forget that this is the governor who rescinded the Democrats’ illegal tripling of the car tax on the very first day of his administration.

This is the governor who repealed the law that had already given drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

This is the governor who pushed through the most significant workers compensation reform in our history.

This is the governor who vetoed the bill that would have destroyed the entire concept of traditional marriage.

This is the Governor who last year had the backbone to confront the most powerful special interest group that has ever wrapped its tentacles around our government – and who took unprecedented personal abuse in doing so.

And while we may differ on details, we can all applaud this governor for having the vision to challenge the “don’t-build-things-and-people-won’t-come” nonsense that has misguided our public policy and crippled our public works since the days of Jerry Brown.

Fellow Republicans, there are great issues afoot at this moment in history, and we need to keep focused on everything that is at stake. As Churchill said at the outset of the war, “We have differed and quarreled in the past, but now one cause unites us all.”

It is our task to rally the people of California to that cause this November. It is our task to remind them what this election means to their families and their futures in California.

And since they say that pocketbook issues are always the strongest, let’s take our pocketbooks out for a second. (No, this is not a fundraising pitch – think of it as practice.)

Start with your checkbook. Whatever you paid in car taxes last year, triple it and write out a check to the DMV. I guarantee you that you’ll be doing that for real next year if we lose the election THIS year.

On his first day in office, Gov. Schwarzenegger stopped that tax increase and the Democrats have viciously attacked him for doing so ever since. Does anyone doubt for a moment that on THEIR first day in office, Westly or Angelides will triple it once again?

Now take out your driver’s license and take a good look at it. Today it is proof that you are a legal resident of California and for that reason it’s accepted for everything from boarding an aircraft to cashing a check. The Democrats have worked fanatically to place these legal documents in the hands of every foreign national illegally in this state – making your drivers license meaningless as proof of legal residency.

Take a look at your credit cards. You’ll be using them a lot more. The Democrats are already pledged to rescind the workers compensation reforms that now save California commerce $15 billion a year. When those costs go back up, what do you think are the chances for your next raise?

And it won’t stop there. Governor Schwarzenegger has kept his promise not to raise taxes. The Democrats in the legislature are already talking about $10 billion of new taxes after the election. (That’s about $1,100 for an average family, but the way). And here’s the dirty little secret of state finance: there aren’t enough rich people in California to make a dent in the numbers they’re talking about. Most of the wealth is diffused across the middle class – and don’t kid yourselves, that’s who the Democrats are coming after.

Now let me ask you the central question of this convention: What do you think are greater – the differences among us as Republicans or the differences between us and the Democrats?

And here is the fine point of it all. Upon our united appeal to the people of California will hinge the future of this state for a generation to come. This is the election that will decide whether the recall was a fleeting curiosity or an historic turning point.

Last night, Gov. Schwarzenegger spoke of the Golden State that beckoned him from half a world away just a generation ago. I remember that state – so do you – it was real. We lived there. A generation ago, California was a shining beacon of opportunity: a fresh, dynamic land of economic freedom where taxes were low and jobs were plentiful. Affordable housing abounded at all income levels. Our public works were the envy of the world. Our children were secure in their homes; our families were secure in their property. We boasted the finest university system in the world and one of the finest public school systems in the country. Water and electricity were cheap and abundant. The future was unlimited.

The only thing that has changed between those days and these is public policy. In a period of three decades, the forces of the Left gradually gained dominance and ultimately, supremacy, over our legislature and our state’s bureaucracies.

And they have now delivered a fiscal paradox where, despite record levels of borrowing we have nothing to show for it; and despite record levels of spending, we can’t scrape together enough money to build a decent road system, or educate our kids, or protect our families from predators.

And upon us – my fellow Republicans – rests the question of whether our generation will restore the potential and the promise that California once stood for.

Never has the choice been clearer between the two parties in this state.

They offer the rationing of shortages. We propose a renaissance of new public works to restore the abundant water, clean electricity and open roads that we once took for granted.

They have handed control of our schools over to the unions. We propose to restore control of our classrooms to the teachers and control of our schools to the parents through local control and charter schools.

They offer stifling central planning to manage every aspect of our lives, they offer higher and higher taxes and more and more costly regulations. We offer freedom.

And that’s what’s really at stake in this election – freedom:

• The freedom to enjoy the fruit of our own labor – without endless tax increases to feed the insatiable appetites of union bosses;
• The freedom to work as hard as we want and go as far as our abilities and ambition take us – without an army of bureaucrats who seek to restrain, regulate and stultify every impulse of enterprise;
• The freedom to live where we wish – without central planners who would force our families into dense urban cores and condemn our children to ever spiraling housing prices;
• The freedom to be secure in our property – without local officials seizing our homes and shops for the private profit of their politically well-connected friends;
• In short, the freedom to live our lives according to our own best judgment without having to get the permission of the likes of a Phil Angelides or Steve Westly every day.

Let us here resolve to embark upon the greatest political crusade in California’s history – to restore the California of plenty; of opportunity; of abundance; and of freedom, that once was (and with God’s help and the people’s support) soon will be again.

Let us be forthright in painting our positions in bold colors and engaging every Californian in this campaign.

Let us be tireless in taking our message to every community in our state, especially those who don’t consider themselves as Republicans.

Let us have faith that our principles are sound; and that if we are true to them, and true to the people, we will ultimately prevail.

And let us be fortified in the absolute certainty that California is worth fighting for – no matter how long or hard that struggle might be.

Ladies and gentlemen, look around this hall. A day will come when all that you see will be gone, all the fury and passion of these times will be as quiet as the grave. And on that day, history alone will look back upon our generation to judge our stewardship of this state. And when it does, let it be said that our generation rose to the occasion; that we struggled and sacrificed and ultimately succeeded in restoring to our children that Golden State – that California of opportunity and plenty – that our parents once gave to us.


From a speech to the California Republican Convention in San Jose




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