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Carol Platt Liebau

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contributor opinion inside


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

Governor Croupier

Bustamante: putting a casino pit boss in the Governorship
[Shawn Steel] 9/12/03 |
I hope I'm not the only Californian dismayed at cascade of cash the casino Indian tribes are pumping into Cruz Bustamante's recall candidacy. As it stands, California's single most powerful special interest group has furnished 60% of Bustamante's campaign funds. If Bustamante wins the replacement election, we will not only have a new governor - the casino tribes will have installed their own pit boss in the governor's mansion. | Does any reasonable person think a Governor Bustamante will be able to "take on" - as the Lieutenant Governor is fond of saying -- the powerful casino tribes who put him there? The casino tribes never lose in the Legislature - now they will add the governor's office to their list of politically sacred sites in Sacramento. [more inside]

Torturing Taxpayers with the Three Rs

Progressive political agenda pummels the public
[Jon Coupal]
9/12/03 |
There's an old joke about the window washer who slipped off his scaffold at the 80th floor. As he passed the 30th floor, he thought to himself, "so far, so good." Indeed, when you stop to think about it, very few people get hurt falling. They get hurt landing. | Well, this is the last week of the California legislative session. For hardworking California families and businesses, this week promises to be a brutal landing. A perfect storm of hardcore partisan politics, an ultra-left-leaning legislative majority and a governor pandering for every possible vote has virtually guaranteed that Californians will be taxed more, regulated more, and be subject to a further erosion of our civilized and moral society. | How did we get here? Let's just call it the harmonic convergence of the Three Rs: Reapportionment, Recall and Revenge. [more inside]

In the Middle of a Bad Week of Bad Laws

Progressive panic has the Legislature in its grip
[John Campbell] 09/12/03 |
Quick Update: The Assembly was in session for over 12 hours Wednesday and so many bad bills were passed that I cannot even describe examples in a single column. I will have to update in the next few weeks. | But you ain't seen nothin' yet. | This completely out of control legislature is likely today to pass SB796 (Dunn--Orange County). This bill will order a fine of $200 per employee per pay period for even the most minor of labor code violations. The labor code is 3 books thick. Everyone probably messes up on something. If Aerojet General in Huntington Beach were to post their employee notices in the wrong font size for a year, for example, they would be subject to a penalty of $31,200,000. If that isn't bad enough, they could not contest the amount of the penalty and the plaintiff's attorneys would get $7,800,000 of this. This may be one of the worst bills of the year. It is a trial lawyers dream, brought to you by Senator Dunn, who is himself a trial lawyer. [more inside]

Integrity or Celebrity?

The so-called "unity-pledge/pact"
[Joe Armendariz] 9/12/03 |
Recently, we've been hearing a lot about the need for "unity" among California Republicans -- so much, in fact, that it's time to figure out exactly what everyone's been talking about. So let's be clear. | "Unity" does not require uniformity or unanimity. Disagreement within a political party isn't a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. And the only constructive debate going on in the country today is inside the Republican Party. Debating over how much or how little political bribery money is going into our candidate's campaign account isn't a debate, it is a disgrace. | That Republicans are having an honest debate over the future of California and what it means to be a good citizen, parent, teacher, business-owner, is something we can and should all be proud of, not embarrassed at or frustrated by. Remember, the only thing that unites the Democrats in this state is the need to protect the status quo. And if that is what it means to be "united," I want nothing to do with it. After all, the purpose of a Great Party isn't to just beat the other Party, it is to offer the people superior leadership. [more inside]

Murder-Suicide in Sacramento

Anger and paranoia in the Capitol
[Ray Haynes] 9/11/03 | We’ve all seen tragic murder-suicide headlines and stories over the years. Somebody who is angry, depressed and sees no hope for the future either at home or in the workplace decides not only to take his own life, but to lash out at those around him, as a last desperate gesture to get back at the people who made him miserable. | The signs of a political murder-suicide are now present in Sacramento. We have an angry, depressed, paranoid man in the Governor’s office who is reading the polls and likely losing all hope of surviving the upcoming recall election. Despite a whole career in which he never took positions on legislation before it reached his desk, he’s had a sudden personality change and is now talking about all the things he’s going to do to taxpayers and businesses in this state as he contemplates his own demise. Not content to go out quietly, he’s now planning to go out in a blaze of glory, leaving a path of destruction in his wake, leaving citizens and employers in this state behind to pick up the mess he leaves. [more inside]

Folie de Petrol

[K. Lloyd Billingsley] 9/11/03 |
The price of gasoline spiked sharply over the Labor Day weekend and prices remain high. Cruz Bustamante, the Lieutenant Governor who aspires to be Governor, wants to slap government price controls on gasoline. An intriguing response to this notion came in "Bustamante's Folly: Gas Price Controls Would Bring Back Lines," an August 30 editorial in the liberal Sacramento Bee. | "In a gubernatorial election contest with 135 candidates on the ballot, the competition for who can come up with the dumbest idea is bound to be fierce," said the Bee, " But Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante's call Thursday for state price controls on gasoline makes him the clear front-runner." | The Bee noted that "as in any market gasoline prices rise and fall," but observed that politicians only sound off on oil company "gouging" when prices jump. When prices are low - in the late 1990s they were as low as at any time during the past 50 years - nobody gives the companies any credit. The "real explanation," the Bee said, lies in "the balance between supply and demand, and the structure of the state's gasoline market." | Demand for gasoline has soared, but there has not been a similar drop-off in demand. [more inside]

Legislation By Panic

Hiding a brew of bad law from public view
[John Campbell] 09/11/03 |
The rules of the legislature require that all bills be introduced by February. Then they must pass out of their "policy" committee by April. They must pass a "fiscal" committee, if necessary, by May. And they must pass the house (Senate or Assembly) where they were introduced by June. Then they have a similar set of deadlines to go through the second house in the months of July, August and September. This process is designed to insure that plenty of opportunity is given for public scrutiny of all bills and so that members of the legislature and their staffs have time to thoroughly review and study the legislation. But, the rules can be waived at any time by a majority vote of the legislature. And that is exactly what is happening repeatedly now as Democrats scramble to pass bad laws before the recall. | Tuesday, there were 153 bills on the Assembly file. Only 7 were authored by Republicans as Democrats waive the rules only for their own agenda. [more inside]

Mr. Disney’s Park

Or Why No Winner of a Major Event Will Ever Say, “I am Going to California Adventure!”
[John Mark Reynolds] 9/11/03 |
Growing up in the seventies, the worst thing about going to church on Sunday night was missing the Wonderful World of Disney. I enjoyed church, but it sometimes seemed like there was a conspiracy on the part of the television networks to put my favorite show at a time when I could not watch it. As a result, it took on a special allure. | Sometimes Disney ran boring nature shows only a step up from PBS, but it also ran vintage cartoons and clips from the classic movies. Children raised in the age of the Disney Channel and the DVD player cannot imagine the excitement of being able to see cartoons at a time other than Saturday morning. And there were always the shots of Disneyland. . . and the castle. . . and fireworks. . . Upstate New York was a long, long way from Southern California, so there was no chance I was going to get to say with the winners of the Super Bowl, “I am going to Disneyland.” | Some things just are not as good as you imagine they will be -- like a stage kiss that looks cool, but in reality turns out to be a big let down, especially if the leading lady is a smoker and the lights are too hot on a community theater costume laundered too few times. So when I finally got to Disneyland as a thirty-something arriving in California to teach philosophy, I expected very little. After all, I was not a kid anymore, so it seemed best to just take my little ones and make the best of my missed chance. I would get my stage kiss from the park and go home. | I was wrong. Disneyland was special. [more inside]

Mugging California Taxpayers

Assault on Prop 13
[M. David Stirling] 09/10/03
| All points bulletin: assault in progress. Location? California. The perpetrators? A gang of tax-and-spend legislators, fronted by a coalition of public employee unions, local governments officials, and other recipients and "want-to-be" recipients of taxpayer-paid services and benefits. The weapon? An initiative measure deceptively-named "The Budget Accountability Act." The victim? California's taxpayers. | Most people recognize Proposition 13 for its major impact on reducing and limiting increases in their property taxes. In the primary election of June 6, 1978, nearly 66 percent of California's voters embraced Howard Jarvis' "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" campaign to reduce property tax rates. Since 1978, millions of California property owners - even those who purchased years after the measure's enactment - have benefited from the limitations it placed on tax rate increases and annual valuation growth. In 1979, property owners statewide paid $57 million less in property taxes than they did the year before, with cumulative property tax savings over 25 years estimated at over $200 billion. The gang of big-taxers believes that because Prop 13's property-tax limitation feature overshadows its other major tax-limiting provision, the latter is currently vulnerable to an assault. [more inside]

The Bad Beat Goes On...

The bad legislation dogpile...
[John Campbell] 09/10/03 | More examples of what Democrats stand for these days that have passed the legislature in the last couple of days...[more inside]

Puke Politics

Smearing,'s an election and the Progressive agenda must be preserved...
[Hugh Hewitt] 09/10/03 | The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Terry McAuliffe, has to be paid at least in part by Republicans. His buffoonery never stops, and he never appears on national television without the GOP gaining ground in the public opinion wars. |
Now he has an understudy, California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres. Together, these two have set a level of performance for party hacks so low as to make all future occupants of their offices appear skilled beyond belief. | On Sunday's "Meet the Press" appearance, McAuliffe first admitted to routinely lying whenever he makes electoral predictions. His job is to say the Democrats are going to win, he said, no matter what the facts are in any particular race. This wonderful moment of candor for McAuliffe establishes what everyone has known for a long time – this Clinton-trained, Clinton-appointed talking head is a liar, and he's not even ashamed to admit it. Give him credit for telling the truth just this once. It will be a useful clip to save and play the next time he unleashes a parade of falsehoods. | McAuliffe followed up this stunning admission with a description of Arnold Schwarzenegger as pro-choice, pro-homosexual and anti-gun. Now why would a practiced partisan like McAuliffe bother to describe Arnold this way? Because he's counting on the Tombots to throw the California recall to Cruz Bustamante. Terry McAuliffe is counting on the die-hard McClintockistas to deliver the day to Cruz and the way left politics that Cruz represents. [more inside]

Domestic Partner Benefits Will Push More Businesses Out of State

There are lots of Progressive ways to get around Prop 22...
[Chuck DeVore] 9/10/03 | It's more than likely that soon-to-be-terminated Governor Davis will be signing a domestic partner benefits bill authored by left-wing Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles. Among the bill's provisions scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2005, is another job-killing, free lunch, feel-good measure: a mandate that businesses that offer health insurance must provide coverage to domestic partners. |
Aside from the obvious arguments about this bill being an end-run around Proposition 22's protection of traditional marriage, which its supporters deny (unconvincingly), this bill is further poison for California businesses battered by silly leftist utopian fantasies from Sacramento. How? Higher costs. | Domestic partner benefit supporters cite a recent Field Poll that found that 72 percent of California voters surveyed support expanded rights for same-sex couples. But one wonders what the results would have been had Field asked, "Do you support mandated insurance benefits for same-sex couples if it would mean higher costs for you?" Probably not. | In fact, a recent study of small employers in California found that insurance costs for same-sex couples were over 17 percent higher than for opposite-sex couples. [more inside]

The Lying Liars of the Left

Blame George Bush for California’s Recall (and why that makes Californians Laugh)
[Melanie Morgan] 09/09/03 |
As I toil daily over a hot microphone—waiting anxiously for California to fall into the ocean---I wonder how nearly every political pundit in America got our recall effort wrong. | “Circus,” they cried. | “Too much direct democracy,” they opined. | The national media were outright hostile. Newsweek’s Howard Fineman and Karen Breslau cover story blasted “So this is California: in thrall, at least for the moment to an earnest crank and in the grip of what can only be described as a civic crack-up.” | Even my esteemed colleagues on the right thought Californians should suck it up and live with the failed leadership of Governor Gray Davis. After all, a weakened Gray Davis, they claimed, makes George Bush look good going into the 2003-04 election cycle. | Some, like George Will, went further: | “Truly conservative Californians—you few know who you are---will vote against the recall to protest the plebiscitary cynicism.” | Whatever. | But what really annoys those of us who support limited government, smaller taxes and fiscal responsibility is that the newly recruited left-wing supporters of Gray Davis keep repeating the mantra that George W. Bush is behind the recall. [more inside]

Bad Bill Parade

The legislation just keeps getting worse...
[John Campbell] 09/09/03 |
Over 100 pieces of legislation were passed by the Assembly between Wednesday and Friday last week. Only 2 bills actually failed. Did anything good pass? A few things. But most of them are narrow or industry specific. Another statistic that might interest you is that on a day when 225 bills were on the "file" to be taken up, only 12 of them were authored by Republicans. The rest were Democrat authored bills. That is proof that in Sacramento, the majority does rule. Here is a partial list of some of the bad stuff that passed and where it now lies in the process of becoming law...[more inside]

At Least He Doesn't Pronounce it "Aztlán"

In the waning moments, the Governor is desperate to prove he really is unfit to serve...
[Xrlq] 09/09/03 |
Up until now, I've been trying to keep an open mind about the recall, and entertain the arguments about why Gray/Gris/Joe/José Davis should not be recalled. This is so even though, as far as I'm concerned, all debate about the merits of the recall among Republicans ended when the election itself was certified. | There's an old saying: "if you strike at a king, you must kill him." Fortunately, our "king" doesn't have to be killed literally. Even so, having struck at him through an unprecedented recall, we'd best finish the job in political terms, or else face 3 1/2 years of an even angrier, more vindictive version of Gray Davis than we've faced in the past. | Until now, however, the Democrats' "he's not that bad" counter-argument remained a valid one, if not convincing to me. All that changed on Friday, when Joe Davis renamed himself "Gris" and signed SB 60. SB 60 is the bill which, if not subjected to a referendum, will soon allow illegal aliens to obtain driver licenses that falsely imply they are legal residents. [more inside]

Rodney King: Once a Bum, Always a Bum

[David Horowitz] 09/09/03 | If you’re not a news junkie you probably didn’t notice that Rodney King was arrested again. He was speeding at 100 miles an hour, high on PCP, when he ran a red light in Rialto, California on August 27. It is just a matter of luck that King hasn’t killed someone yet. This was his fifth arrest since a kangaroo court awarded him $3.8 million some years ago because the LAPD had “violated his civil rights.” Or perhaps it was because the court was afraid that rejecting King’s claim would spark another riot that would kill 58 people and cost the city $16 billion in destroyed homes and stores. | One of King’s post-riot arrests was for beating his wife, just in case you thought he was a nice guy harassed by police simply because he was black. | Apparently, in addition to going to jail again, Rodney King is now broke. Which is one of the reasons you haven’t heard much about his latest bust. Because the post-riot life of Rodney King gives the lie to virtually every liberal nostrum for improving society, eradicating poverty and making us all equal. | How can you go broke on $3.8 million? Let’s say, for the sake of this example, King had to pay his lawyers a million dollars in legal fees. If he had put the remaining money in the bank in a long-term savings account it would have netted him a six-figure income for the rest of his life -- without requiring a stitch of work to get it. But if you give money to a self-destructive lout like Rodney King, all you are going to get for your money is trouble. [more inside]

Teaching Berkeley Schools about Respect for Law and Equal Rights

A school choice sham...
[Cynthia D. Cook] 9/8/03 |
If you like oxymorons—dry ice, jumbo shrimp, airplane food—the bureaucrats at the Berkeley Unified School District have come up with one to savor: “controlled choice.” That’s their Orwellian name for their policy of assigning students to schools based not on parents’ preferences but on children’s skin color. | The “controlled choice” system requires parents to tell the district the race of each of their elementary-school children. Parents may designate three schools as their top choices, but the decision on where their kids go is ultimately a formulaic process that is much more about control than choice. An informational form explains: “The computer system will assign students based on space available and other criteria, which may include socio-economics and ethnicity...| ”The mention of “ethnicity” sounds like an afterthought, but race is actually at the core of the program. The district categorizes each elementary student as “black,” “white,” or “other” and then attempts to balance each school’s racial makeup to within 5% of the overall district population. If parents refuse to identify the race of a child, the school district will do it for them. When assignments are made, a family’s “choice” goes out the window if the student’s color doesn’t fit the preferred racial mix for a particular school. | The policy is obnoxious on so many levels. [more inside]

Last Days and Licenses

Going from bad legislation to very bad...
[John Campbell] 09/06/03 | Three critical dates are approaching. These dates are impacting everything going on in Sacramento right now. September 12th is the last day for bills to be passed by the legislature until January of next year. October 7th is the recall election. And October 12th is the last day for the Governor (and it will likely still be Governor Davis, because the Secretary of State has up to 28 days to certify the election) to sign or veto all bills passed this year. So, the Democrat controlled legislature is scrambling to pass all kinds of terrible stuff while they still have a Democrat Governor to sign it. | These next 7 days are likely to be chaotic and the mood up here is already testy as Democrats craft last minute legislation and amendments to beat the clock, as Republicans use the limited power of the minority to block them. I will be sending you updates as frequently as daily during this period to keep you informed of just how much worse this one party junta can make Californians' lives...... until the hope for change on October 7th. [more inside]

Illegal Aliens, Illegal Indians

A Lesson in Lawlessness
[Ken Masugi] 09/06/03 | The dust-up over Lt. Governor Bustamante’s acceptance of upward of $3 million from Indian tribes opens up an ugly side to American treatment of Indians. I refer not to the betrayal of treaties and so on but rather to the exception within American society that Indian leaders wish to carve out for themselves: On the one hand, they want to retain tribal government (which does not recognize many of the protections of the U.S. Constitution, federal law, or state and local law), on the other hand, they want the benefits of being American. As an example of the latter, The San Jose Mercury notes a bill passed by the legislature giving “unprecedented power to halt developments near sacred tribal land.” The Indian gambling casinos are of course a notorious example of the former. | When I worked for then-Chairmen Clarence Thomas and Evan Kemp of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, I noted that Indian rights advocates at the EEOC would seek to shrink the scope of the Civil Rights Act so it would cover fewer Indians. This is of course contrary to the bureaucratic imperative to expand control over as much of society as possible. But the enemies of bureaucracy should not cheer. The “Indian rights” advocates sought to leave as much power to the tribes as possible and decrease Indian individuals’ rights under and obligations to America. [more inside]

Last Week's Op-Ed Page

[go to Op-Ed Page Archive Index]


And some
Lingering Observations

The Return to Partisan Politics
California, get ready for the coming Dean melt-down...
[Chuck DeVore] 9/5/03 []

An Instinct For Survival
Does anyone else sense the tide turning for Davis?
[Doug Gamble] 9/4/03 []

What are the Differences Between MEChA and Nazism?
[Stefan Sharkansky] 9/3/03 []

Who’s Dragging Down Who?
California’s Real Impact
[Ray Haynes] 9/2/03 []

Media Recall Crackup ...
The rise of the blogs...
[Hugh Hewitt] 09/01/03

Another Earthquake Coming
And it’s a good thing too...
[John Campbell] 8/27/03

Hasta La Vista Bustamante!
Campaigning to take the state further down the wrong road...
[Joe Armendariz] 8/26/03 .[]

Running to Win
The Recall and Republican Redemption  
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/25/03 []

A Marriage of Convenience
Conservatives should accept Schwarzenegger to help rejuvenate state GOP   
[Carol Platt Liebau] 8/25/03 []

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

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]

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

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

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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