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  • Lord Gray loses brain...
  • Perenchio for Saving Gray...
  • Whalen: Careful what you ask for... current tally:
494,183 out of 898,157 petitions

88 days to go

contributor commentary

[Streetsweeper] 6:58 am
Common Sense Prevails, Barely:
The Assembly couldn’t quite get the minimum number of votes to kill Indian mascots for state sports teams. That’s right, no Warriors, Comanches and the like. The Bee reports there were skirmishes on the Assembly floor [Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta, characterized the legislation as much ado over nothing. / Tongue in cheek, Haynes said the measure didn't go far enough because it didn't ban words like buccaneers, Gaels or Trojans, all of which could be offensive to someone. /"We ought not trivialize ourselves by engaging in trivial argument," Haynes said. "And quite frankly, this is trivial." / Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, said he is a proud former Arcadia High School Apache. The name provided an opportunity to learn about American Indian history and culture, he said. / Leslie sang his alma mater on the Assembly floor, ending with, "All hail, Apache sons and daughters, all hail, hail, hail."] All this and musical comedy too!

more at CRO Blog

being Tom McClintock


California has a spending problem. As State Senator Tom McClintock likes to point out, population and inflation combined have grown at a rate of 21% the past four years; revenue has grown 25%. Yet California government spending has grown 40%. The result is an unprecedented state budget deficit expected to exceed $35 billion.
- Thomas Krannawitter 5/2/03

go to Shadow Governor

FABULOUS BUDGET/From National Review

The First Shot
Proposition 13 is where the Reagan Revolution began.
by Joel Fox 6/6/03 | Proposition 13 advanced the ideas of lower taxes and less government to weary taxpaying Americans, ideas which Ronald Reagan championed. Ronald Reagan’s experience and instincts told him that high taxes discouraged productivity and hurt the economy. Reagan did not come to his war against high taxes when he was running for president. He had a long record of opposing taxes. Even his family members heard about his feelings toward taxes in a most personal way. | Son Michael Reagan told a story of asking his father for an increase in his allowance. Father Ron said he would gladly give his son an increase in his allowance — as soon as the government stopped taking so much money out of his paycheck. | Reagan actually tried the tax-increase path in the early years of his California governorship. Back then, he had to deal with the deficit left him by his predecessor, Pat Brown. But the decision to raise taxes brought Reagan grief — although it also gave him great insight. | In 1968, at the opening day game for California’s newest major-league baseball team, the Oakland A’s, the fans were in a festive mood — that is, until the dignitary was announced to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Gov. Ronald Reagan was greeted with lusty boos timed by one reporter as lasting three minutes. After tossing out the pitch, Reagan commented, “I can certainly hear a helluva lot of you paid your taxes.” [more at National Review]

The Bogus Scapegoating of Prop. 13
Government not only wasn't gutted, per-capita spending is higher than ever
by Gary M. Galles 6/6/03 | Proposition 13, the centerpiece of California's 1978 tax revolt, turns 25 today. A response to complaints of overtaxation, a state budget surplus and unresponsive government, it rolled back rapidly rising property tax assessments to 1975 levels, limited assessment increases to no more than 2 percent per year if property ownership did not change hands, prohibited overassessing property and required two-thirds votes for state or local tax increases. | While Prop. 13 remains almost as popular with Californians now as in 1978, many, particularly those in government, have spent the past quarter-century blaming it for every state and local fiscal pinch and every government "good deed" left undone. Now, with a massive budget crisis, attempts to scapegoat Prop. 13 and circumvent its limits on tax increases are peaking. | Whatever the government problem, we have heard someone say that Prop. 13 caused it. It has been blamed for unsolved kidnappings, murders and car thefts, library and education cutbacks, insufficient teacher pay, poor school performance, potholes, fee hikes, increased racial and demographic tensions, too much commercial development, increased road congestion and pollution, ad infinitum. | However, such attacks have always hinged on the premise that it gutted government funding. And that premise has long been false. [more at OC Register]

Taxpayer Rights
Prop. 13, 25 years later
by the Editors 6/6/03 | For 25 years, California's politicians have done nothing but grumble and moan about Proposition 13, the taxpayer revolt of 1978. | And, truth be told, their complaints have had some merit: | By rolling back and capping property taxes, Proposition 13 created short-term financial havoc and long-term funding problems for local government. | It produced severe inequities in the state tax code, with new homeowners paying a fortune on homes comparable to relatively untaxed homes held by neighborhood old-timers and by long-established businesses. | There's even a case to be made that the two-thirds supermajority Proposition 13 requires for approving property-tax increases is an undemocratic imposition that's made it exceedingly difficult for local government to pass some much-needed bond measures. | But for all its faults, thank heaven for Proposition 13! [more at LA Daily News]

FABULOUS BUDGET/From Sacramento Bee
Legislators Haven't Learned About Folly Of Ignorant Decisions
by Dan Walters 6/6/03 | The California Legislature, as noted in this space before, has a penchant for making policy decisions that backfire with unintended, sometimes very damaging consequences -- largely because lawmakers don't take the time to fully explore the potential ramifications of what they decree. | The list of such ill-considered decisions is lengthy, and The Bee's Dan Weintraub has, in a series of recent columns, added another multibillion-dollar blooper to the record: the huge expansion of pension benefits for government workers on the wrong-headed assumption that the Public Employees' Retirement System would generate limitless stock market profits. As Weintraub notes, the state is now stuck with several billion dollars a year in unexpected pension costs. | Having assembled such a sorry record of legislating on false assumptions and unverified claims, one might expect that lawmakers would be doubly or triply wary of acting in ignorance. But the state Senate proved again on Thursday that foolhardiness continues to thrive. [more at Sacramento Bee]

INSIDE CRO Campbell's Capitol Communication
Worker's Compensation Insurance
Horror stories from the front lines of business
by John Campbell 6/6/03
|Last week, I and some other Republican Assemblymembers from Orange County hosted a "feedback forum" or "town hall meeting" on the situation with Worker's Compensation Insurance in California. It was held in the George H. W. Bush room at Chapman Universityand was facilitated by Chapman President Dr. James Doti. | Now, as most of you know, I am a business owner myself and I have had and continue to have my own personal experience with and understanding of the whole worker's comp thing. I was nearly put out of business by the work comp crisis of the early 1990s. Furthermore, I am on the Insurance Committee in Sacramento so I see and hear all that's going on legislatively in this arena and am actively working on it. | Still, the stories and the passion of the 175 angry people who showed up at this forum deserve to be passed on. [more inside]

FABULOUS BUDGET/From Sacramento Bee
CalPERS Goosed Pension Fund to Justify Benefits
by Daniel Weintraub 6/5/03 | Like many Californians, I fell for the 1990s stock market bubble. With a 401(k) investment plan as my primary source of retirement savings, I watched excitedly as the Dow Jones Average broke new records daily. I even used to play around with a computerized spread sheet, projecting my growing balances into the future, wondering if I might someday retire a millionaire. | I knew the huge gains couldn't continue forever. So I'd use a conservative rate of return of say, 8 percent a year, to dream about how much my savings might be worth by the time I turned 60. | The bad news is that those projections now appear to have been horribly optimistic. The calculations I thought were conservative were based on a wholly unrealistic assumption: that while my balance might grow more slowly, it would not decline. [more at Sacramento Bee]

JURISIMPRUDENCE/From Claremont Institute
The New Glass Ceiling
by John C. Eastman 6/4/03 | Stellar credentials and a "well-qualified" rating from the American Bar Association, its highest, following her nomination to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should have made the road to confirmation an easy one for Judge Carolyn Kuhl. | But the path since her nomination on June 22, 2001—nearly two years ago—has been anything but easy. Indeed, for more than 21 months she was not even given the courtesy of a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a month after she finally did receive a hearing on April 1, 2003, her nomination was "reported out" to the Senate floor on only the barest, 10-9 vote, with not a single Democrat siding with what Senator Leahy once called the "gold standard" of the ABA's well-qualified rating. | Her credentials are impeccable. Bachelors degree in chemistry from Princeton, graduated cum laude. Law degree from Duke, graduated with distinction, inducted into the prestigious Order of the Coif, served as an editor of the Duke Law Journal. Law clerk in California on the 9th Circuit with then judge, now Supreme Court justice, Anthony Kennedy. High-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Justice, serving as deputy solicitor general, deputy assistant attorney general and then special assistant to the attorney general. Partner in one of Los Angeles' most prestigious firms, Munger, Tolles & Olson. Eight years of service as a judge on the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles, in both the criminal and civil divisions. | And she's a woman, which means she accomplished all this at a time when women were just beginning to break through the glass ceiling that had for far too long limited opportunities for women in the legal profession. | So why all the opposition? [more at Claremont Institute]

Theology Lessons with Jim Carrey
Bruce Almighty
by Marshall Allen | Warning: includes spoilers. | Jim Carrey, the rubber-faced comic actor whose roles often defy taste and intelligence, may now add to his resume a depiction of man’s relationship with God that’s many cuts above the standard Hollywood fare — in a lot of ways, actually biblical. | Yes, I’m dumbstruck, too, but Bruce Almighty really is a spiritually edifying movie — once you get past the slapstick (which I enjoyed) and the occasional moral lapses (which I didn’t). When I saw the preview, I assumed it would be a movie that mocked God. Carrey (playing news reporter Bruce Nolan), endowed with the powers of God, uses them to do things like teach his dog to use a toilet and cause a gust of wind to blow up the skirt of a passing woman. Oh great, I groaned. | But that wasn’t the vision of director/producer Tom Shadyac, a devout Catholic who says that when making Bruce he seriously considered the messages the movie would send about God’s character and His relationship with man. Shadyac, who teamed with Carrey to make the slapstick comedies Ace Ventura, Pet Detective and Liar, Liar, said he wanted to create a modern-day parable, like the stories Jesus used to tell to draw parallels to the Kingdom of God. The results made me an instant, albeit surprised, fan of Bruce Almighty. I didn’t expect to get so many laughs from its gut-busting humor, much less to discover an admirably thoughtful portrayal of God. [more at Boundless]

OCTA, Still Off-Track
by the Editors 6/5/03 | One local light-rail critic compares Orange County Transportation Authority's proposed CenterLine system to "The Terminator," the Arnold Schwarzenegger cyborg character that keeps coming back to life no matter how many times you "kill" it. | That's a perfect analogy after Tuesday's vote in Irvine. The city put two separate initiatives before the public. The first, Measure A, asked residents to approve the current CenterLine system, which meanders from UC Irvine to Costa Mesa and then Santa Ana. The second, Measure B, asked Irvine voters to essentially bar light rail from ever being built in the city. | Fortunately, Irvine voters, by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin, were wise enough to vote "no" on A, apparently understanding that the CenterLine would be extremely costly, yet would relieve virtually no road congestion. They were concerned about the line's potential impact on neighborhoods. [more at OC Register]

Fathers & Sons, Under the Sea
Finding Nemo
by Thomas Hibbs 6/5/03 | In its opening weekend, Pixar's latest film, Finding Nemo — which follows the hugely successful animated films Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Monster's Inc — managed to blow away the competition, including Bruce Almighty and the Matrix sequel. The film is not in the same league as Toy Story or Monster's Inc., but it is solid, with captivating animation, entertaining characters, and an uplifting story for the family. | Finding Nemo is the story of Nemo's separation from, and eventual reunion with, his father, Marlin (Albert Brooks). Just after Nemo (Alexander Gould) swims away from his father to prove that he can handle himself in the dangerous ocean, a scuba diver captures him. He ends up in an aquarium in a dentist's office in Sydney, Australia, where his fellow fish offer wry and technically precise observations on a variety of dental procedures. | Among the many humorous scenes is one featuring sharks in a 12-step program to overcome their addiction to eating fish. The leader, Bruce, with his wide mouth and menacing teeth, looks a bit like the evil plant ("the mean green mutha from outer space") in that underappreciated comic gem, the remake of The Little Shop of Horrors. At Step 5 — bring a fish friend to a meeting — Bruce proclaims, "I'm a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine." But one whiff of fish blood causes a relapse, "I'm having fish for dinner," he says with cruel delight and heads off after his prey. As he barges in on hiding fish, he does a wonderful Jack Nicholson: "Here's Brucie!" [more at National Review]

INSIDE CRO//TimesGrinder
L.A. Times Fighting Liberal Bias?

by Hugh Hewitt 4/6/03 | John Carroll is the editor of The Los Angeles Times. On May 22, he sent a memo to all of his section editors. It is an extraordinary document, and the website was the first to make it available to the public. | Carroll's subject was liberal bias in the paper. The specific target of his concern was a biased report on a "bill in Texas that would require abortion doctors to counsel patients that they may be risking breast cancer." Carroll ripped his paper's coverage of that particular bill, but his broader points are much more important. |"I'm concerned about the perception – and the occasional reality – that the Times is a liberal, 'politically correct' newspaper," he began. "Generally speaking, this is an inaccurate view, but occasionally we prove our critics right." | By combining an admission with a denial, Carroll undermines his own effort, for if he cannot see the depth of the paper's problems, how can he be counted on to rectify them? But still, it is a start, and his pledge is what matters most. [more inside]

Davis Recall: Be Careful What You Wish For
The effort could stain state politics with the bitterness that afflicts Washington.
by Bill Whalen 6/4/03 | At first, the effort to recall Gov. Gray Davis looked ineffectual; now a special election seems inevitable. The team that helped Davis win reelection has assembled to do battle, and California political insiders are saying a vote to decide the governor's fate is a done deal. | This raises two questions: Why recall Davis at this critical juncture in state history? And won't dumping him in this manner just lower the level of discourse of state politics? | Davis is a failed governor, both in substance and style. Under his watch, California's economy has bled jobs while the state budget hemorrhages red ink. Solving those problems requires the kind of visionary reform never seen in this administration. | Davis doesn't seem to be interested in winning over his detractors. His initial response to the recall initiative was to trash the recallers as right-wing conspirators and then go plead his case before newspaper editorial boards in sessions that were long on self-pity and short on contrition. At least Marie Antoinette had one good sound bite before the peasants revolted. | Still, is Davis' incompetence alone cause for removal? [more at LA Times]

Slip Sliding Away
by Debra Saunders 6/4/03 | "It was one of those under-the-radar bills that just slipped by," San Jose's Union School District Superintendent Phil Quon said of a measure Gov. Gray Davis signed before last year's election. The bill, SB1419, limited the ability of local school districts to contract out for noninstructional services, like busing or maintenance. | "It just doesn't make sense to tell me that I can't look at a cost-saving measure in a non-instructional setting," Quon continued, as he discussed the squeeze of operating next year's schools on this year's budget, despite cost increases. | I asked Davis at a San Francisco Chronicle editorial board meeting Friday if he planned to work to repeal this special interest bill. (Gumby has been making the rounds at editorial boards since ill-advised Republicans began pouring money into the effort to recall him.) | "I'm not prepared to argue that specific bill," His Grayness answered. He then added that since some contractors don't pay workers for health coverage or pension benefits, it's not cheaper if the state has to pick up the slack. | (Yes, but if more-efficient contractors pay benefits and hire union workers, why bar a good deal? And why protect bus drivers' compensation if it means less money for teachers?) | The story of SB1419 reflects the sorry state of California politics today. The state budget is $38 billion in the hole. Schools, cities and counties are getting less money than they need, but when a GOP assemblyman introduced a bill to repeal SB1419, it died in committee. [more at Town Hall]

FABULOUS BUDGET/From Sacramento Bee
Heat Wave Hits Capitol, But Politics of Budget Remain Frozen
by Dan Walters 6/4/03 | A hoary political axiom holds that the Legislature can't enact a state budget until the Capitol is enveloped in 100-degree heat. | That condition was satisfied this week as a heat wave descended on Sacramento. But other elements of a fiscally workable, politically doable agreement on the deficit-saturated budget are missing. While both legislative houses have passed shells of a budget, infighting among majority Democrats, resistance to new taxes among minority Republicans, and Gov. Gray Davis' low standing inside and outside the Capitol loom as major, perhaps insurmountable roadblocks. | Chances of forging such an agreement may be growing dimmer. The drive to recall Davis appears to be picking up steam and has become intertwined with the budget, and while the new federal tax cut bill contains more than $2 billion in direct aid for California, it has fueled even more ideological rancor over how to use it. | The budgetary wheel-spinning, meanwhile, clouds California's chances of persuading banks to cough up the $11 billion the state must borrow this month just to refinance its short-term debt and keep its check-writing machines working. | Unless lenders are convinced that the Legislature and Davis can put the state's badly mangled finances in order, they may not advance the huge sum. And if the loan is not forthcoming, California may have to default on its short-term debt. [more at Sacramento Bee]

Windfall for Politicians
Democrats think $2.4 billion in federal funds is theirs alone
by the Editors 6/4/03 | Forget about that $38.2 billion budget deficit. As far as the big spenders in Sacramento are concerned, it's raining money! | That's because, contained in the tax bill that President George W. Bush signed into law last week, is a provision that gives $20 billion to cash-strapped states across the country -- including $2.4 billion to California. | And Democrats in Sacramento can't decide how to spend the money fast enough. | Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, says he'd like to use the cash to restore social welfare programs cut in Gov. Gray Davis' proposed budget. | State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles, echoes the same sentiment, saying, "If the biggest critique of me in public service is that I wanted to spend money on frail seniors and children's health care -- guilty." | Spare us. [more at LA Daily News]

FABULOUS BUDGET/From National Review
A Reverberating Proposition
A tax-cut in California in 1978 is still paying dividends.
by Bruce Bartlett 4/6/03 | This Friday, June 6, marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most important political/economic events in American history: Proposition 13. This initiative, which was approved by the voters of California on this date in 1978, sparked a “tax revolt” that spread throughout the country and continues to reverberate today. | The impetus for Prop. 13 was the inflation-induced housing-price boom of the 1970s. Investors seeking to preserve their capital poured their savings into tangible assets like real estate. With double-digit inflation also pushing up prices, many homeowners suddenly found themselves living in houses worth many times what they paid for them. But with property taxes based on assessed values, this meant that tax bills were also rising sharply. Since incomes were not rising as fast as prices or taxes, some California homeowners found that they couldn’t pay the taxes and were forced to sell their homes. | Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, leaders of two California taxpayer organizations, joined forces in 1978 to put an amendment to the state constitution on the ballot that would limit property taxes to 1 percent of assessed value in 1975. Valuations were frozen until the property was sold. And just to make sure that other taxes were not increased to compensate, a two-thirds majority in the legislature was required to raise taxes. | At first, California politicians ignored the Jarvis-Gann effort. But when polls showed that the measure would pass, they panicked. [more at National Review]

A Taskmaster Heads North
by the Editors 6/4/03 | Although cash-strapped California could ill afford a $100-million expenditure this year to bail out a school district that had mangled its finances, the state couldn't leave Oakland children without an education. So a loan to the Oakland Unified School District went through. The good news? On Monday, the state appointed a trustee with proven experience to return Oakland's schools to solvency and ensure that California gets its money back. | Oakland's new trustee, Randolph E. Ward, has played the same role in Compton's schools since 1996. In that time, the Compton Unified School District improved its test scores, fixed leaky school roofs, hired a batch of bright young principals and repaid its $20-million state loan — with interest. With Ward's departure, Compton emerges fully from state control. | Ward says Oakland's problems should be easier to fix than the divisiveness and corruption he encountered at Compton. [more at LA Times]

Malibu Babs: Snapshots of an Eco-Hypocrite
by Michelle Malkin 6/4/03 | People who live in 10,000-square-foot oceanfront mansions shouldn't throw stones. | That hasn't stopped Barbra Streisand from lecturing her fellow Californians about their energy use ("We must make concrete changes in our lifestyles to help solve this energy crisis . . . try to line dry (clothes) . . . only run your dishwasher when it is fully loaded . . . ") and lambasting President Bush's environmental policies ("Bush has discouraged energy conservation every step of the way -- suing California for passing a law requiring more fuel-efficient vehicles and even proposing a tax cut for SUV owners!"). | Now, this multiple home-owning, custom-built SUV-riding, California coastline-hogging diva has lobbed a $50 million lawsuit at an eco-activist who posted photos of her massive estate on the Internet. | Malibu Babs says the litigation is about protecting her privacy. She claims that the aerial pictures, posted on by Kenneth Adelman, violate anti-paparazzi laws and "provide a roadmap into her residence." | But Adelman's site does not list Streisand's address, nor do the photos contain the star's image. Adelman and his wife are wealthy environmental do-gooder types who created a Web site to document erosion along the California coastline for scientists and land-use researchers. The photos of Streisand's home are just a few among the 12,000 in his online archive. "He's not doing this for profit, or stalking anyone," Adelman's lawyer Richard Kendall told the Los Angeles Times. "He is engaged in a public-interest effort to document the entire coast to preserve it from degradation. He's not about to carve out exceptions for celebrities who don't want to be identified as owning coastal land." [more at Town Hall]

Race Still Divides Berkeley
by Carrie Sturrock 6/4/03 | The subject of race is hard to avoid on UC Berkeley's campus. Sometimes, it's like a downed wire in a thunderstorm whipping around Sproul Plaza. | Despite the end of affirmative action five years ago, race remains one of the most charged issues there, provoking anxiety and conflict on a campus where the number of black and Latino students has sharply declined. | Signs of the tension, and debate over the changing makeup of the student body, suffuse the campus. | One late February morning, the Berkeley College Republicans held a bake sale, charging passersby different prices for chocolate-chip cookies based on their race. The provocative statement touched a nerve. People glared, some argued and others flashed "Way to go!" smiles. It snared the attention of a group of black upperclassmen who, visibly agitated, later denounced the sale in a packed African-American studies class where emotions ran high. | Some criticized their classmates for even discussing such a stunt. [more at FrontPage]

RECALL FOLLIES/From American Spectator
Total Recall
by George Neumayr 6/3/03 | The campaign to recall California Governor Gray Davis may succeed, admit a growing number of California Democrats. Daniel Borenstein of the Contra Costa Times reports that "the state Democratic Party mouthpiece, Bob Mulholland, predicted last week that Republicans would gather the necessary 897,158 valid signatures to qualify the recall for a statewide vote." The website Davis reports "426,664 signatures to goal," with "91 days to go." | Davis is sufficiently scared that he has regrouped his old campaign team, reports the Los Angeles Times on Monday's front page. That means Garry South is back, and even Chris Lehane, Al Gore's infamous spinner. Lehane, recall-minded Californians should note, served as a flak for Davis during his self-inflicted electricity crisis. Davis paid Lehane with tax dollars until public attention forced him to stop. Lehane is, then, a particularly astute selection for Davis's recall-defense team. [more at American Spectator]

A Better Way
An alternative to proposed car tax hike
by the Editors 6/3/03 | A recent statewide poll by the Public Policy Institute of California apparently carries little weight in Sacramento. For even though 6 of 10 Californians oppose raising the vehicle license fee, Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature are prepared to do just that. | As lawmakers begin work this week on on a final budget for next year, they are proceeding on the assumption that the car tax will be tripled, costing the average California motorist $136 more annually. | It matters not, apparently, to lawmakers or the governor that even with the reduction of the car tax in 1998, California's fee still is the highest such levy among the nation's five largest states. In fact, it is twice as high as the second-highest car tax state, Illinois. [more at SD Union Tribune]

Twenty-five Years After Prop. 13
by the Editors 6/3/03 | Proposition 13, California's monumental tax-limiting initiative, celebrates its 25th anniversary on Friday amid the sort of hostility and hosannas that rarely accompany laws or initiatives only months after their passage, let alone a quarter of a century afterward. That's because Prop. 13 was the real deal - a citizen-inspired, grassroots tax revolt that actually rolled back the power of the state. | Governments are still fuming. Officials continue to blame Prop. 13 for every ill known to mankind. Some citizens are angry at Prop. 13 also because of the unequal property tax rates paid by neighbors living in similar homes. [more at OC Register]

Prop. 13
by Bruce Bartlett 6/3/03 | This Friday, June 6, marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most important political/economic events in American history: Proposition 13. This initiative, which was approved by the voters of California on this date in 1978, sparked a "tax revolt" that spread throughout the country and continues to reverberate today. | The impetus for Prop. 13 was the inflation-induced housing price boom of the 1970s. Investors seeking to preserve their capital poured their savings into tangible assets like real estate. With double-digit inflation also pushing up prices, many homeowners suddenly found themselves living in houses worth many times what they paid for them. But with property taxes based on assessed values, this meant that tax bills were also rising sharply. Since incomes were not rising as fast as prices or taxes, some California homeowners found that they couldn't pay the taxes and were forced to sell their homes. | Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, leaders of two California taxpayer organizations, joined forces in 1978 to put an amendment to the state constitution on the ballot that would limit property taxes to 1 percent of assessed value in 1975. Valuations were frozen until the property was sold. And just to make sure that other taxes were not increased to compensate, a two-thirds majority in the legislature was required to raise taxes. [more at Town Hall]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/From Sacramento Bee
Democrats Recall Peace, Prosperity and Clintons
by Daniel Weintraub 6/3/03 | If aliens from Mars, or even Arizona, landed in California tomorrow, they would surely be perplexed by many aspects of our state's society. Our peculiar state government would have to be high on the list. | Try explaining, for example, why our financially stressed public schools are hiring bureaucrats to monitor the payroll records of construction companies at the same time that they're sending layoff notices to teachers and other important employees. | But that's the case, and it's about to worsen. Soon, the schools might be required to hire still more monitors and send them into the factories of the companies that produce the stuff that goes into the classrooms the construction companies are building. | If this sounds bizarre, it's not because you've just arrived from another planet. You simply need a refresher course in labor politics, and something called the prevailing wage. [more at Sacramento Bee]

Horowitz vs. Hollywood
Tinseltown leftists try to silence David Horowitz in the name of "free speech."
by Paul Bond 6/3/03 | Those who write Hollywood's TV shows and movies are unusually receptive to conspiracy theories that accuse President George W. Bush and his administration of horrible things. They are also quite intolerant of the Religious Right — the mere mention of which oftentimes elicits insulting bouts of laughter. And they love to romanticize the Hollywood blacklist era, which they invoke often, usually at any mention of the Dixie Chicks, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins or Sean Penn. | And they’re prone to shout down those who disagree with them. | All this was made fairly clear at a recent Writers Guild of America event appropriately titled “We’re Fighting For Freedom of Speech, So Kindly Shut Up!” [more at FrontPage]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/From Sacramento Bee
Capitol Sees Stark Conflict Over Protecting Californians' Privacy
by Dan Walters 6/3/03 | Civil libertarians have complained, with good reason, about the dissemination of personal information, particularly health and financial data, by banks and other private businesses, and supported state legislation to protect Californians' privacy. | The hotly debated privacy legislation carried by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, has generally drawn support from liberal Democrats and opposition from conservative Republicans. Oddly, however, those positions are reversed when it comes to invading the privacy of children. [more at Sacramento Bee]

INSIDE CRO/ Recall Follies
People Must Demand Recall

After the Damage Davis Has Caused In One Term, Can State Afford to Go Through Another?
by Shawn Steel 6/2/03 | At the beginning of the 20th century, a progressive revolt added the rights of initiative, referendum and recall to the state constitution in order to give citizens recourse against the powerful special-interest groups that had made state government their handmaiden. | As we begin the 21st century, we again find ourselves faced with corruption, incompetence and the paramountcy of special-interest influence, this time centered in a single individual: Gov. Gray Davis. His continuously scandal-plagued, calamitous administration has brought our state to the brink of disaster, and it's time to take those tools of democratic accountability in hand and recall Davis. | Recalls have been threatened before, but in my decades of political involvement never has one caught fire like the current effort to recall Davis. | In the last few weeks, a broad-based, ad hoc coalition of activists, public-policy groups, business people and ordinary citizens has begun to coalesce around this effort, ranging from the anti-tax group People's Advocate on the right to Pat Caddell on the left. | It reflects a disgust and disaffection with Davis that transcends partisan affiliation, age, gender, race or ethnicity. [more inside]

Pomp, Sanctimony – And Hope

The Ironies of a “Liberal” Education
by Carol Platt Liebau 6/2/03 |
It doesn’t matter how long ago one’s school days actually were. The early days of June are still flavored with the sweet taste of liberation and the memory of the exhilaration occasioned by the school year’s end, with the promise of slower, lazier summer days. | For this year’s college graduates, the exhilaration is, of course, tempered by nostalgia. For them, it’s not only the end of a school year, but the end of an era. And so, at colleges and universities across California, young people in their early twenties are gathering one final time before venturing on into the working world (or to graduate school). | Here in California, as members of the Class of 2003 are being handed their diplomas, the farewell message ringing in their ears is an overwhelmingly liberal one. In a sense, the ceremony itself becomes emblematic of many students’ college experience – an occasion hijacked by the liberal politics of the university administration, expressed through the choice of a commencement speaker. [more inside]

Gov. Train Wreck
by the Editors 6/2/03 | This could be the summer of Gray Davis' discontent. Even as a recall campaign picks up speed against the California governor, things continue to go badly for him and the state he has misgoverned: | On Wednesday, a Stage 1 Power Alert was declared by state power authorities. It was the first since last July 10; only two were declared in all of 2002. But if temperatures rise, the governor could be in for a long, hot summer of blackouts. | On Friday, the Associated Press reported, "Richard Katz, one of Gov. Gray Davis' top advisers, has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees the last two years from clients that have had business before the governor's office on issues that Katz handles, state records show." The governor doesn't need an ethics scandal now. [more at OC Register]

'Conscience' Is No Cause for Judges to Flout Laws
by Howard J. Bashman 6/2/03 | May a U.S. Court of Appeals judge refuse to follow binding U.S. Supreme Court precedent if the judge believes that the precedent is unconscionable? |"Yes" is how 9th Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson recently answered that question. Putting aside whether Pregerson deserves to be respected or pilloried for his personal act of conscience, such willful judicial disobedience of a higher court's authority has no place in our judicial system. | In March 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California's three-strikes law, which requires a sentence of 25 years to life for certain repeat criminal offenders, did not violate the 8th Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. A companion ruling issued the same day prohibited federal courts, on habeas corpus review, from setting aside as unconstitutionally excessive three-strikes sentences that California's state court system had imposed. [more at LA Times]

The O.J.-ification of Laci
by Debra Saunders 6/2/03 | My beef isn't, as some journalism-school types sniff, that the Laci Peterson story has received too much coverage. My complaint is that cable networks might help get a guilty man off. | The preliminary hearing for Scott Peterson -- who has pleaded not guilty to charges that he murdered his wife, Laci, and unborn son, Conner -- hasn't begun. So it's the boring season of the story, the factual doldrums. | Still, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC air hours of talking-head debates, whether there's news or not. This is when TV news is at its most dangerous, as standards become dispensable and prosecutors tend to obey orders sealing evidence, while defense teams generally aren't so scrupulous. | This week, "defense sources" told NBC's Dan Abrams that they had produced a list of "four (or) possibly five people," who may be -- you'll remember this from the O.J. trial -- The Real Killers. [more at Town Hall]

WEST BANK OF THE SEINE/From Sacramento Bee
Unintended Results of Policy Choices Litter the Landscape
by Dan Walters 6/1/03 | The solitary thread of consistency in California's complex, dysfunctional, ironic -- and often just plain wacky -- politics is that they faithfully obey the law of unintended consequences. | Whether decreed by voters or enacted by officeholders, the major policies imposed on the state in recent decades, most of them touted as "reforms," have uniformly not only failed to accomplish their supposed goals, but also very often worsened the problems they purported to solve. A few of the pithier examples: | • Californians were told in 1966 that if they created a full-time, professional Legislature, the Capitol would become more responsive, more ethical and more efficient. Instead, the professional pols who took over made it more insular, more corrupt and less effective. | • The term limits that were adopted in 1990 to correct the abuses of professionalization created a Legislature that is chaotic, ineffectual to the point of irrelevance and (with aid from a self-serving redistricting scheme) dominated by partisan extremists. [more at Sacramento Bee]

Vote to Derail CenterLine
by the Editors 6/1/03 | Voters in Irvine have an opportunity to do what the Orange County Transportation Authority wants to deny the rest of the county: the opportunity to vote, yea or nay, for a $1.4 billion-plus boondoggle known as the CenterLine light-rail system. | As it is, the election Tuesday isn't exactly clear-cut. Two measures are on the ballot. Measure A permits the construction of CenterLine in its current configuration. Measure B says no to CenterLine. CenterLine supporters created A as a means to undermine support for B. But having two separate measures raises interesting questions, such as what happens if both pass or both fail. | There's an easy way to avoid that possibility. Irvine voters should vote no on A and yes on B. That's the best way to stop a costly light-rail plan that will do nothing to improve area congestion. Yet OCTA has been so focused on building this line that it has diverted time and resources from building and maintaining the roads and freeways that move the vast majority of Orange County residents. | According to Drivers for Highway Safety, the average light-rail line nationwide moves about 4,400 people, per track, per day, compared to 23,000 people per lane, per day on freeways. Furthermore, DHS reports, one lane of freeway costs $7 million to $10 million per mile to build, compared to about $60 million for each track mile of light rail. Whereas freeways move most of us, light rail will depend on former bus riders for its numbers. | This won't improve the traffic situation in Orange County. But OCTA and other rail supporters insist that it's merely about giving commuters additional transportation choices. [more at OC Register]

CenterLine's Many Myths
Example: It would relieve congestion. Well, no - according to OCTA itself.
by Jack Mallinckrodt 6/1/03 | Irvine residents will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on two measures regarding their city's participation in the Orange County Transportation Authority's proposed CenterLine project. | Voters need to be aware that CenterLine and other light-rail systems are being sold on the basis of a number of persistent fallacies. Let's take a closer look at these misleading arguments. | Fallacy: There's no more room to build roads. | Fact: Nonsense. Right-of-way is always available - at some cost. The question that should be asked for any alternative is how do its right-of-way requirements compare with other alternatives for the same added transportation capacity. One lane of freeway takes the same amount of right-of-way as a railway track, about 12 feet. But according to U.S. and Orange County averages, one light-rail track carries about 4,400 persons per day, while one freeway lane carries 23,000 persons per day in the same space. So for the same person-carrying capacity, light rail would require five times more space. | If there's no more room for roads, there sure as heck isn't any more room for light rail. [more at OC Register]

It Speaks Spanish, Not Republican
by Frank del Olmo 6/1/03 | There are valid reasons to be dubious about the proposed merger that would make the 800-pound gorilla of Spanish-language TV, Univision, even bigger than it already is. All media mergers diminish, to some degree, diversity of information and opinion. | That said, congressional Democrats are unwisely focused on the weakest — and most self-serving — reason to sound the alarm about Univision's attempt to buy Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. HBC owns 65 Spanish-language radio stations, including some of the highest-rated outlets in Los Angeles. | Some key Democrats have asked the Federal Communications Commission to bar the sale of HBC's radio stations to Univision, which has 53 television stations, because the combined network would have a virtual monopoly on news aimed at thousands of newly naturalized American citizens of Latino descent. They fear Univision's notoriously secretive chairman, A. Jerrold Perenchio, a major donor to Republicans, will use his broadcast empire to create a thinly disguised mouthpiece for the Bush administration — sort of Fox News en Espanol. But he also donates to Democrats. [more at LA Times]

State Budget Crunch
A 1991 lesson in cutting California's deficit.
by Larry N. Gerston 6/1/03 | Here's the picture: California is mired in a recession so damaging that it has hobbled the state's ability to collect sufficient revenues to operate without dramatic changes. So drastic is the shortfall that it amounts to about one third of the pre-crisis budget. Only a combination of severe cuts and new taxes will enable the state to emerge from the predicament intact. | Sounds like the current crisis, right? Well, yes, but these events also happened more than a decade ago. [more at SF Chronicle]

Spend, Tax, Beg, Borrow, Steal

A spending addiction of unparalleled proportions
by Ray Haynes 5/31/03 | It’s a sad event to witness. We all know drug addiction begins as a temporary high, with the eventual addict proud of his or her ability to experience the rush from the drug, but handle the bad effects. Eventually the addict becomes addicted to the rush, and spends all of his or her money trying to chase the dream. First the addict spends his or her salary on drugs, trying to figure out a way to pay for rent and food, eating up their savings to pay those bills. Eventually they run out of money, and start to borrow money from parents, relatives, and friends, always claiming to be in a “temporary, tough” financial strait. “Just this once” the lenders are told, “I just have to pay rent. I will pay you back.” Then they don’t. The addict, constantly in a state of denial over the addiction, starts to blame others for the financial problems. “I don’t have a drug problem,” he or she will say, “I can handle it; it’s only temporary.” Eventually the addiction leads the addict to stealing, as the lenders cut off money out of frustration for the addict’s lack of financial or self-control. The downward spiral continues. | State government in California is on that downward spiral. During the first two years of Governor Davis’ first term, the state indulged in a spending addiction unparalleled in the state’s history; a two-year splurge which increased state spending by $22 billion. By comparison, the entire state budget was only $21 billion in 1982. The rush was amazing as Governor Davis and his leftist friends in the legislature partied on the people’s money in his first two years here. | Then the rent came due. [more inside]

Program Downgrade
Matrix Reloaded lacks the beautiful sparseness of its precursor
by Andrew Coffin | Despite the decline in R-rated films, The Matrix Reloaded gave the adult rating a new lease on life this month with the biggest opening ever—for any film with any rating. Reloaded, the sequel to 1999's The Matrix, pulled in $135.8 million over its first four days, obliterating the previous record for an R-rated opening and continuing the cultural phenomenon that is the Matrix. | By now, the first film in what audiences have discovered is the Matrix trilogy has been analyzed to death: in print by critics, in online chat rooms by rabid fans, in church basements by zealous youth pastors. The Matrix adeptly combined groundbreaking special effects (most notably, "bullet time"), an involving story, and deeper-than-expected layers of meaning. | Audiences became perhaps overly enamored with writers/directors Larry and Andy Wachowski's unique creation. There was an almost fevered scramble to decipher the apocalyptic vision of the brothers Wachowski, which was replete with biblical symbolism among other varied influences. But the film did offer intriguing elements that other films, particularly those of the action and sci-fi genres, did not. [more at World Magazine]

Mr. Deeds Goes to Wall Street
Hollywood's bizarre lessons on corporate finance.
by Stephen W. Stanton 5/30/03 | Hollywood just does not understand Wall Street. If some movie stars have their way, neither will anybody else. | Consider Adam Sandler's tirade against corporate wealth, "Mr. Deeds." The film rehashed one of the oldest themes in Hollywood. When a twist of fate makes a blue-collar guy filthy rich, he uses his wealth for good, unlike other rich folks. Of course, this Hollywood definition of "good" is not the same as Webster's. In Tinsel Town, destroyers of capital are lauded as heroes. Conversely, wealth-creating capitalists are derided as mercenary exploiters. (Karl Marx's descendents should demand royalty checks and a creative credit.) | In the movie, Sandler plays a nice guy from a small town. He is shocked to discover that he is the sole heir to an eccentric tycoon's $40 billion estate. The bulk of the fortune is tied up in 300 million shares of Blake Media Inc., representing a 49 percent stake. | When the company's CEO learns of this inheritance, he concocts a "diabolical" plan: He and other executives arrange to borrow $40 billion and buy the stock from Sandler's character at fair market value. Upon gaining control of the company, the new owners intend to break it up into little pieces and sell them off at a premium. The sum of the parts is worth more than the whole. By carving up the company, investors unlock the value of these assets and make a fat profit in the process. | Most readers would recognize this for what it is: efficient capital allocation. Potential buyers place different values on the corporate divisions of Blake Media. If a division is worth more to a potential buyer than it is in the hands of current owners, it should be sold. (The whole point of investing is to make money, whether by holding shares or selling them to a higher bidder.) What Sandler and others fail to realize is that these transactions are not zero-sum. Synergy makes them win-win. [more at TechCentralStation]

Front Page Index
The Week: 5/24/03 – 5/30/03

A Tale of Two Cities Cutting taxes in DC, piling on in Sacramento. by John Campbell 5/29/03 | A Christmas Carroll Liberal bias at the Los Angeles Times even annoys its editor. by George Neumayr 5/30/03 | Celebrity Injustice Loudmouth moviemakers don’t know their audience. by Joel Engel 5/30/03 | California's Problem Isn't Prop. 13 by Joel Fox 5/30/03 | Up From the Ashes A state-appointed administrator will soon lead the Oakland public the Editors 5/30/03 | Memo to My Wife Thanks for the checkbook, Honey. by Tom McClintock 5/29/03 | Gray Davis Rolls the Dice In desperate need of cash and political capital, California's governor prepares to give Native American tribes some extra-Constitutional powers. by Hugh Hewitt 5/29/03 | Lives of the Party THE RED AND THE BLACKLIST The Intimate Memoir Of a Hollywood Expatriate By Norma Barzmanby John Meroney 5/29/03 | Pension Fund Ills Can Be Traced To Big Giveaway by Daniel Weintraub 5/29/03 | A Wasted Windfall? Suppose someone is deeply in debt and close to bankruptcy. by the Editors 5/29/03 | State Must Keep, Not Water Down, Exit Exam by the Editors 5/29/03 | Robert Scheer's Lurch Off the Cliff of Reality by Hugh Hewitt 5/28/03 | Hold Fast, Republicans So far Republicans continue to stand up for the rights of taxpayers. by the Editors 5/28/03 | The Right Papers If it can happen in Santa Barbara, it can happen Sheri Annis 5/28/03 | A Festival of Anti-Americanism by John H. Hinderaker 5/28/03 | Don't Reform Trade Offices - Close Them by the Editors 5/28/03 | Leftwing Hack The latest in Scheer lunacy. by George Shadroui by 5/28/03 | Prop. 42 Highway Funds: Hands Off Money for crucial road projects shouldn't be taken to cover state's red ink. by DAN BEAL 5/28/03 | Attorney General Jerry Brown? Comics are smiling as 'Gov. Moonbeam' mulls new run for state office. by Doug Gamble 5/27/03 | Honeymoon’s Over Chief Bratton gets Los Angeles politicians fuming. by Jack Dunphy 5/27/03 | Cardinal Stonewaller by George Neumayr 5/27/03 | Race Preferences and the Resurrection of George Orwellby Ward Connerly 5/27/03 | Ultimate Betrayal The revived Belmont Learning Center is the curse of the LAUSD by the Editors 5/27/03 | Proudly They Serve A Memorial Day Thank You to the California National Guard. by Carol Platt Liebau 5/26/03 | Sacramento's Profiles in Cowardice by Steven Greenhut 5/25/03 | In State's Time of Need, the Governor Fails to Lead by Daniel Weintraub 5/25/03 | GOP Can Seize the Moment by Tony Quinn 5/25/03 | In Memoriam: Freedom The more a state provides, the more a state can take away. by Ray Haynes 5/24/03 | Sacramento’s Union Label Just two weeks of unionized monopoly at the Legislature by John Campbell 5/24/03 | An Outsider Takes On L.A.'s Gang Problem by Janet Clayton 5/23/03 | OCTA, Learn from San Jose by the Editors 5/23/03 | Real Problem, Wrong Solution Affirmative action doesn't work and is antithetical to American values by James L. Doti, President, Chapman University 5/23/03 | GOP Focus Should Be Kid Stuff Republicans must see that their most important constituency is children. by Robert C. Fellmeth 5/25/03 | Parenting Before Politics Rep. Doug Ose decides to come home. by the Editors 5/24/03 | A Budget Map State needs a long-term solution. by the Editors 5/24/03 | Where Your Money GoesL.A. City Hall ignores national trend by giving out hefty pay raises. by the Editors 5/24/03 |
[go to Front Page Archive Index]


And some
Lingering Observations

INSIDE CRO the Shadow Governor
Memo to My Wife
by Tom McClintock 5/29/03 | Hi Honey --Since you've let me take over our household finances, I'm happy to report that our family budget is balanced, I've saved thousands of dollars, and I've kept us in the style to which I would like to become accustomed. | You might wonder how I've been able to do all this. I just followed the easy steps that Gov. Gray Davis outlined in his May Budget Revision. I know you're upset because I spent nearly $11,000 more than we took in this year. You really need to keep things in perspective. Gray spent nearly $11 billion more than he took in, and he's not worried. I've taken out a second on our house and Gray's taken out the largest state loan in American history to cover the difference, so just relax. | I'm being fiscally conservative and socially liberal with our budget, just like the Governor. I've cut thousands of dollars from our expenses without affecting our standard of living in the slightest. I know you're skeptical, but it was really very easy. I just added a new jet ski to my wish list and then scratched it out. That saves $5,500. Pretty clever, huh? You can actually do this in any amount - Gray "cut" $5.5 billion from the state budget exactly the same way. [more inside]

TIMESGRINDER/From Weekly Standard
Decline of the Times, Part 2
The Los Angeles Times rails against its defenders and shows how bad its editorial page is, too.
by Hugh Hewitt 5/23/03
| Last week in this space I described the Los Angeles Times's slide into mediocrity and agenda journalism. Some objected. The Nation's always reliable Eric Alterman condemned the column as "nonsensical," and then quoted one of my objections--that "columnists who deal regularly with politics outside of the editorial pages come in two varieties: left and far-left." To which Alterman replied: "Oh really. My goodness. Nora [sic] Vincent is on the page as part of what I perceive to be an affirmative action program for young right-wing lesbians." | Note that Alterman cites Vincent's presence on the editorial page as evidence against my charge that outside of the editorial page, the Times employs only leftists. I suppose I shouldn't object: After all, this is close-reading for the Nation. | Mickey Kaus, on the other hand, conceded the bias on the Times's editorial page, but not at the paper in general. Kausfiles argued that "the LAT is getting better under its new owner." About the horribly skewed op-ed pages, Kaus conceded that "Hewitt's right . . . but the LAT's recently-hired Nick Goldberg is trying to diversify it." | Both pundits came to the Times's defense. The LAT actually came to my assistance on Tuesday with a nicely timed screed by Robert Scheer, long one of the paper's stars. Scheer has now been pummeled in print, on radio, and on television for his vicious and repellant essay alleging that the United States military staged the Jessica Lynch rescue. [more at Weekly Standard]

TIMESGRINDER/From WorldNet Daily
Slandering the Military?
More Sheer lunacy at the Los Angeles Times
by Hugh Hewitt 5/30/03
| Hard-left Los Angeles Times' columnist Robert Scheer's Tuesday column should not be missed. In "Saving Private Lynch: Take 2" Scheer asserts that the rescue of Jessica Lynch was a "fabrication" and a "caper." Scheer argues that the "manipulation of this saga really gets ugly" because of the "premeditated manufacture of the rescue itself, which stains those who have performed real acts of bravery, whether in war or peacetime." | Scheer cites a BBC report, and ignores a Pentagon denial of the report. He rushed into print even as the BBC was walking backward on its own story, as detailed in many links found at | Scheer is throwing around very serious charges, because they implicate every member of the Special Forces team involved in the rescue of Private Lynch. Are they liars and actors as Scheer asserts, or brave, selfless heroes as I and most other Americans believe? [more at WorldNetDaily]

The Fourth Estate’s Failure: Who Really Loses When The Los Angeles Times Distorts The News

by Charles McVey 5/21/03 | In our civilization the press is so powerful that in the late Eighteenth Century it was first called the Fourth Estate; more powerful than the Church, the State, and the People. By any objective measure, the press is now so imprinted with a Leftist orientation, a Leftist agenda, that they feel fully justified in not only slanting articles but in changing the news. | While the recent Jayson Blair affair at the New York Times may simply have been the disclosed factual fabrications of an unscrupulous reporter it is – however - emblematic of the ideological dishonesty of the majority of the Fourth Estate. | I need not look any further than the slab of newsprint sitting in my own driveway to see this dishonesty on the pages of the West Coast’s newspaper of record, the Los Angeles Times. [more inside]

RECALL FOLLIES/From Weekly Standard
Wild and Wooly in California
The prospect of a recall vote on Governor Gray Davis has the state's political establishment in an uproar.
by Hugh Hewitt 5/21/03
| The strangest season in California's long, strange political trip has begun with a declaration of candidacy for a governorship that isn't vacant, a withdrawal from a Senate campaign that hasn't really begun, and a rumor mill spinning out of control. | The declaration of candidacy came from Congressman Darrell Issa, who has injected cash and leadership into the campaign to place a recall election before the voters in early fall. The target is Governor Gray Davis, whose approval ratings make Nixon's in August of 1974 look pretty good. Issa's commitment has energized the effort and there is little doubt now that Davis will be fighting for his political life come September. Orange County's powerful Lincoln Club stepped up with a $100,000 in recall cash last Friday and pledged to lay out another $150,000 soon. The Club doesn't waste money on symbolism. The recall will qualify, and Davis will face a straight up-or-down vote. If 50 percent (plus 1) of the voters say throw Governor Clouseau out, he will be gone, and eyes turn to the second question on the ballot--who should replace him? [more at Weekly Standard]

Recalling Our Principles

Why the Davis Recall is Worth Reconsidering
by Carol Platt Liebau 5/9/03 | It’s hard to like Governor Gray Davis. Like the stereotype of a bad politician, he is self-righteous, cynical, manipulative and grasping – without possessing any of the typical politician’s compensating traits of charm, humor or even sheer entertainment value (think Rev. Al Sharpton). | So it’s no wonder that the movement to recall Davis has caught on like wildfire. For the first time in memory, it seems at least possible that a sitting California governor could actually be removed from office. In fact, as of April 30, recall supporters reported that more than 100,000 of the roughly 897,000 signatures needed to place a recall on the ballot had been collected. | The success of the “Recall Davis” movement is thanks largely to the grassroots. Over 400,000 recall petitions are currently in circulation, with tens of thousands having been sent out in response to citizen requests, and the “Recall Gray Davis” web site estimates that it has logged over 8 million hits since it went online on February 4, 2003. The California Republican Party has endorsed the effort only cautiously, and no single big donor has yet stepped forward to bankroll the campaign entirely, although Rep. Darrell Issa recently indicated that he would offer a six-figure contribution to the recall. | But in an era when recall petitions can be downloaded on the internet, and given the governor’s 56% disapproval rate even within his own party (according to a recent Field poll), a grassroots effort may be enough. Even in the San Jose area, a stronghold of support for Davis (he defeated Bill Simon there last November, 55% to 32%), a full 36% would support recall, with 46% opposing, according to Democratic pollster David Binder. Statewide, a recent Field poll reveals that if a recall initiative were actually placed on the ballot, 46% of voters would dump Davis, with only 43% being willing to retain him in office. | The thought of handing Davis his walking papers is, frankly, an intoxicating one. [more inside]


Kuehl-Care is wrong Rx for Californians
Sally C. Pipes
Pacific Research Institute

Boycott Jim Hahn's L.A.
by Arnold Steinberg
The Washington Times

Feds Shouldn't Bail Out State
Aid from D.C. would only prompt lawmakers to overspend even more
by Richard Vedder
OC Register


Why Hollywood Hates Conservatives III
by Steve Feinberg
more at FrontPage Magazine

Saving Democracy in California
by Ken Masugi

A Boy Catches a Terroist Gang
SLA brought to justice
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Eight Ways To Solve The Budget Crisis
by Adam Sparks SF Gate

Why Simon Lost
From the beginning, and in the end.
By Arnold Steinberg National Review

The Authoritative Guide to Why Bill Simon Lost
What Really Happened in California
By Arnold Steinberg Human Events

Simon Should Have Won
The state GOP has lost track of its responsibility to voters, letting extraneous concerns crowd out attending to political basics.
by John Kurzweil
California Political Review


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