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contributor opinion inside


K. Lloyd Billingsley
John Campbell
Jon Coupal
Ray Haynes
Steven Hayward
Hugh Hewitt
Lance T. Izumi
Harold Johnson
Carol Platt Liebau
Ken Masugi
Tom McClintock
Michael New
Stefan Sharkansky
Shawn Steel
Guest Contributors

Who Should Be the Next Governor?

A taxpayer endorsement from HJTA
NEW TODAY [Jon Coupal]
8/29/03 |
You don't need to be told that California taxpayers face the greatest crisis since the passage of Proposition 13, twenty-five years ago. Backed by special interests, inside and outside of government, the Legislature and the governor have irresponsibly increased spending so fast that that there is no way that revenue can keep up without massive tax increases. Politicians, who want to continue the lavish spending, have become so brazen that for the first time many are now talking about repealing Proposition 13! This category includes Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante. | The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association endorsed the recall of Gray Davis because we believe that gross incompetence IS grounds for removing the governor! | With the expectation that the recall will be successful, taxpayers must now make a decision that will be critical to the state for years to come. Who should be the next governor? [more inside]

Davis Democrats and their 16 Wobbly Republicans...

The budget is bad for the state... recall them all...
[Joe Armendariz] 8/28/03 [Editor's note: last week CRO published an Op-Ed by Michael New which characterized the state's budget as the first victory of the recall. Contributor Joe Armendariz has a different opinion of the budget.]
| A few weeks ago, California's tax-and-spend Democrats with the help of 16 wobbly Republicans finally approved a budget that sells out the interests of California taxpayers. Why? In the case of the Republicans, probably so they would be liked by their friends across the aisle. Or, perhaps we can simply take them at their word; they were hungry, tired, and wanted to go home, eat a hot meal, take a warm shower and hop into a soft bed. | The reality is that the budget Davis proposed back in May, was better (on the margin) than the one the 16 Republicans voted for after holding out for the past several weeks. They ended up delaying only to cave and vote for a worse fiscal product. Remove the $2.3 billion in higher sales taxes and the Davis proposal was a more pro-growth budget than what the people ended up with. | Make no mistake about it, the so-called budget compromise, raises taxes on those who can least afford it and also on those least likely to tolerate paying higher taxes. [more inside]

Another Earthquake Coming

And it’s a good thing too...
[John Campbell] 8/27/03 |
California, of course, is known for its earthquakes. These notable earthquakes do include such ones as Northridge and Landers and Loma Prieta. But the earthquakes to which I refer are ones like the reform movement of Governor Hiram Johnson in the early part of the last century or the Proposition 13 taxpayer revolt of the late 1970’s. These were earthquakes of public opinion. Political ground was moved by the sheer force of a populace disgusted with the status quo and unafraid of significant change. Voters caused an upheaval of the establishment in government. | In each case, what started here in California spread across the nation. We have always been a state to start trends, not follow them. That can happen in politics as much as in industry or in culture. | This state has been quiet for a while. But, it's 2003 and all the seeds of a new political earthquake have been sown. Taxpayers are up in arms because they pay so much and get so little for it. Voters feel disenfranchised and unrepresented. Incompetence and corruption run rampant in Sacramento. Businesses are overburdened with valueless costs and regulation imposed by an abusive and unaccountable government. And they are all nearing the boiling point and ready to rise up. [more inside]

Scheer Cruz
Bob's pulling for Bustamante and more taxes...
[Stefan Sharkansky] 8/27/03 (Editor's Note: Stefan Sharkansky provides a valuable ongoing service deconstructing LA Times "columnist" Robert Scheer.) | Robert Scheer, the L.A. Times' own tax-dodging Communist real-estate mogul, is using this week's column to campaign for Cruz Bustamante. | "Bustamante has the training, experience and track record required to work with the Legislature to produce a budget come January." | What kind of training does Bustamante have that makes him uniquely capable to run the world's sixth largest economy? A report in today's Christian Science Monitor says Bustamante was | "A C-average student in high school ... He once studied to become a butcher, and though he started college some 30 years ago, he didn't finish until this May." | Just what California needs -- a butcher school dropout. How will he cut spending if he can't even figure out how to cut meat? [more inside]

Leader of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy???

I've been found out...
[Ray Haynes] 8/26/03 |
This last week, Governor Davis claimed that Republicans caused the electricity crisis, Republicans caused the budget crisis, and now, that “what is happening here is part of an ongoing national effort to steal elections they cannot win.” He said the recall is part of this national effort--a “right wing power grab” to seize control of the Governor’s office with “just a handful of voters.” | I’m afraid he’s on to me. It’s me, or at least, I think it’s me, that the Governor is accusing of this right wing power grab. I reach that conclusion based on the following facts... [more inside]

Hasta La Vista Bustamante!

Campaigning to take the state further down the wrong road...
[Joe Armendariz] 8/26/03
| The tax and spend lobby's designated candidate, Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, is proposing the imposition of more taxes on California taxpayers should he be elected to replace Gray Davis on October 7. | Memo to Bustamante: since 1991, California's average annual growth rate in taxes, compared to the average annual growth rate in personal income, was more than double. In fact, from 1991 to 2001, California's annual growth rate in taxes increased by 6.3% while income growth was only 3.1%. Today, for every $1,000 of income, California is ranked 8 out of 50 with respect to state tax collections. | This doesn't bode well for businesses in this state and their ability to compete in a competitive marketplace. A marketplace, after all, that is not just competitive on the domestic front, but on a global front as well. Incredible as it may seem, in a recent statement posted on its web site, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce actually came out in support of raising California's state sales tax. In fact, the President of the LA Chamber suggested there was a "need" to raise the state's sales tax. But do we really "need" to raise the state sales tax? Not when you consider that at the current rate of 7.25%, California already charges the highest sales tax in the nation.[more inside]

Running to Win
The Recall and Republican Redemption  
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/25/03 |  
Last weekend offered a long-awaited opportunity to see the film about the famous race horse, Seabiscuit, that was released earlier this summer. The movie is wonderful. It’s a tale about redemption through focus, self-knowledge and – above all – the grace that causes all things, even apparent misfortune, ultimately to work together for good. | In some ways, politics is a lot like horseracing. Honest people, as the saying goes, pay their money and take their chance. There are never any guarantees, and the outcome of every race depends on so many factors that it is virtually impossible to exercise complete control over anything. All that any politician, voter (or horse) can do is to prepare, so as to be ready when the make-or-break moment of decision arrives, as it inevitably will. | As the recall season rolls on, there will be several more weeks like the one just past – with news changing so constantly that it’s hard even to formulate any consistent analysis. Multiple polls are released, some containing unsettling news, such as the weekend’s Los Angeles Times poll that purportedly shows a significant narrowing in the margin of voters favoring the governor’s recall (50% to 45%, compared to last week’s Public Policy Institute poll, which showed 58% in favor, 36% opposed), | In any race, discomfiting poll numbers occasionally appear, but careful examination of the poll reveals that there is no reason for undue Republican concern. The Times poll demonstrates that a disproportionate number of Republicans, presumably anti-Davis, are likely to actually vote in the election. In short, Republicans are the more intense, motivated voting bloc – a key component of electoral success. | But it’s important that Republicans maintain their focus, and it should rest squarely on a vision for California – an indispensable part of any campaign, but one that both Davis and Bustamante lack. [more inside]

A Marriage of Convenience

Conservatives should accept Schwarzenegger to help rejuvenate state GOP   
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/25/03  | [Editor's note: This editorial was published yesterday in the Orange County Register Sunday Commentary section.] John Kenneth Galbraith once observed that politics consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable. Nothing could better summarize the reaction of many of California’s conservatives to the prospect of a liberal Republican like Arnold Schwarzenegger winning the recall election. | From a conservative’s perspective, the good news about Arnold’s candidacy is that it puts the last nail in the coffin of the Gray Davis governorship. The bad news is that it dooms the candidacy of conservative state Sen. Tom McClintock, as well. He lacks Schwarzenegger’s nearly universal name identification, mountains of money and white-hot charisma. And with the recall less than two months off, there’s no time to develop them. | So conservative Republicans are at a crossroads. It may be tempting for them to stay with McClintock – their true love – but they need to swing their support to Schwarzenegger and commit themselves to a political marriage of convenience. | There’s no doubt that there’s much for conservative Republicans to dislike in Arnold’s positions. He is presumably a "social moderate" – and he’s certainly not the second coming of Ronald Reagan. But even so, the California Republican Party needs Arnold, badly. | More than anything, Republicans simply need a winner. [more inside]

Sacramento's Back in Business

If the past week is any indication...Watch out...
[John Campbell] 8/23/03 | Things are active in Sacramento again.....and on balance that is not a good thing. Here are some quick comments on events of the week: | Error Correction: First of all, I take pride in the accuracy of the information in this coulmn and I made a mistake last week which I want to correct. I said that every Democrat legislator had voted to increase the car tax prior to the Governor raising it administratively. There were several votes on the matter so it is not crystal clear, but I think the fairest thing to say is that out of 73 Democrat legislators, only 69 voted to triple the tax. | Financial Privacy: The legislature passed SB1 (Speier- D) a much debated and much changed proposal to give you more control over the privacy of your financial information. I voted for the revised bill and have long believed that we all need more control and protection over this information. This is a move in the right direction although I believe that some specifics in the bill will need to be perfected in the coming years. | Bustamante Budget: My vocabulary is generally adequate but I cannot find words to describe how bad the budget proposal made by Cruz Bustamante for next year is. My computer's thesaurus suggests "grim, grisly, gruesome, hideous, horrifying, horrible and macabre." All of those work. It is as thought he looked at all the bad stuff Davis did the last 5 years to kill jobs and the economy in this state and decided to do more of it. [more inside]

Prop 13: Anniversary Backlash

Its enemies retell the old myths...
[Jon Coupal]
8/23/03 | As a consequence of Proposition 13 marking its 25th anniversary, we have seen numerous articles and commentaries on the taxpayers' favorite initiative in publications around the state. Sadly, this has provided the usual suspects -- those feeding at the public trough, left-wing pundits, and elitist academicians-- with the opportunity to regurgitate uninformed opinions about Proposition 13 and have them published, in many cases, as if they were fact. Add Warren Buffet to the list of those who need to be educated on this important taxpayerprotection. | We at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association find ourselves, as the legal and political watchdog over Proposition 13, responding to a lot of outright nonsense that gets into print. | For example, a reporter for a Stockton newspaper recently did an article on Proposition 13's impact on education, using as the only source a local school administrator who claimed that the tax-limiting measure was responsible for the loss of local spending control over education. Because of Proposition 13, the argument goes, Sacramento controls the purse strings. | This is a canard that we see often. [more inside]

The Open City

Movie Review - Open Range
[Ken Masugi] 8/23/03 | One measure of how far American popular culture has fallen may be taken by comparing this ponderous waste of talent with the great westerns—for example, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,Shane, or Ride the High Country. Kevin Costner and the exploited Robert Duvall ("The Boss") sound like the cowboys caricatured by Garrison Keillor on his radio show. With Open Range, Costner continues the decline of the western begun with his Dances With Wolves. This embarrassment followed on Clint Eastwood's later films, such as Pale Rider and Unforgiven. Philosophically, this can be stated as Rousseau replacing Aristotle: compassion and sensuality unhorse manliness. | It would be a mistake to deride serious study of popular culture, such as film, in favor of classical drama; Shakespeare—when properly performed—is of course incomparable. But in a democratic republic such as the United States, public opinion goes further than the law in shaping the American character. The movies have been a source of civic education as well as a reflection of the public's soul. [more inside]


Last Week's Op-Ed Page

[go to Op-Ed Page Archive Index]


And some
Lingering Observations

Dear Tom McClintock Supporter ...
Arnold may not be ideal, but first you have to win.
[Hugh Hewitt] 8/21/03

The Purpose of a Great Party
McClintock is true to conservative principles
[Joe Armendariz] 8/21/03 []

California Gives Junk Bonds a Bad Name
[Joe Armendariz] 8/18/03 []

Trumping the Race Card
Republicans Can’t Let Democrats Win the “Race” to the Bottom
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/18/03 []

Recall Choice Really Between Tom, Bill, Arnold
[Shawn Steel] 8/15/03 | []

Prop 187 Revisited
[Joe Armendariz] 8/14/03 []

This Conservative Is Voting For Arnold
[Hugh Hewitt] 8/13/03

California Muggin'
A Golden State Debate...
[Eric Metaxas] 8/13/03 []

When Chaos is Good
Finally, we can all see the result of failed leadership
[Ray Haynes] 8/12/03 []

Our Glorious Recall
Or, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love California”
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/11/03 [more inside]

Driven to Judicial Fiat
Desperate Davis Turns to the Courts for "Leadership"
[Carol Platt Liebau] 7/24/03 []

King of the Ring
Big-time strategists, a jungle recall/election, and Democrats scheming over a live microphone. You won't believe what's happening in California.
[Hugh Hewitt] 7/24/03 [Weekly Standard]

Recall Strategy
The California GOP Needs to Stay Flexible – and Above All, Unified
[Carol Platt Liebau] 7/21/03 []

Highway Robbery
Illegal taxes are what political revolutions are made of.
[Tom McClintock] 7/9/03 []

A “Taxing” Responsibility
The Power to Change Sacramento Rests With Us
[Carol Platt Liebau] 7/7/03 []

Pull My Trigger. . .
An unaccountable, self-triggering tax that only a liberal could love
[Ray Haynes] 6/28/03 [more inside]

California's Coming 100-Year Political Storm
[Tom McClintock] 6/18/03 [more at Claremont Institute]

Slap the Greedy Hand [Reprint 6/16/03]
Authorizing Local Taxes Is Just Plain Wrong
[Carol Platt Liebau] 6/9/03 [more inside]

People Must Demand Recall
After the Damage Davis Has Caused In One Term, Can State Afford to Go Through Another?
[Shawn Steel] 6/2/03 [more inside]

Memo to My Wife
A household budget - Gray Davis style
[Tom McClintock] 5/29/03 [more inside]

Recalling Our Principles
Why the Davis Recall is Worth Reconsidering
[Carol Platt Liebau] 5/9/03 [more inside]


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