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 www.tommclintock.com [McClintock index]
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
are built upon great principles, and they are judged by their
devotion to those principles.
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.
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.
a duty to take a strong stand for judges who will place themselves
under the constitution – and not over it.
a duty to take a strong stand to preserve entry level jobs
that the poor desperately need to get a foothold in life.
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.”
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.
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
thirds of California rose up and joined us.
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.
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.
doesn’t stop there – that support reaches deeply
into Democratic and Independent constituencies as well.
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.
the governor who repealed the law that had already given
drivers licenses to illegal aliens.
the governor who pushed through the most significant workers
compensation reform in our history.
the governor who vetoed the bill that would have destroyed
the entire concept of traditional marriage.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
us – my fellow Republicans – rests the question
of whether our generation will restore the potential and
the promise that California once stood for.
the choice been clearer between the two parties in this state.
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.
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.
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.
what’s really at stake in this election – freedom:
freedom to enjoy the fruit of our own labor – without
endless tax increases to feed the insatiable appetites of
• 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
• 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.
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.
be forthright in painting our positions in bold colors and
engaging every Californian in this campaign.
be tireless in taking our message to every community in our
state, especially those who don’t consider themselves
have faith that our principles are sound; and that if we
are true to them, and true to the people, we will ultimately
us be fortified in the absolute certainty that California
is worth fighting for – no matter how long or hard
that struggle might be.
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.