Skip to comments.CA: Dreier race illustrates cautionary tale on immigration policy
Posted on 11/15/2004 8:34:50 AM PST by NormsRevenge
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Tucked into last week's otherwise predictable California election results lay a cautionary tale about the election year's most uncovered issue: illegal immigration.
Republican Rep. David Dreier, the 24-year Los Angeles-area veteran who chairs the powerful House Rules committee, won re-election to his House seat with just under 54 percent of the vote, down from 64 percent in 2002. His Democratic opponent, Cynthia Matthews, won almost 43 percent of the vote, despite spending just over $31,000 in her campaign, compared to more than $900,000 spent by Dreier. A Libertarian candidate won 3.5 percent of the vote.
While Dreier's winning margin over Matthews can't really be characterized as close, it was his worst showing since 1980, when he was first elected by beating a Democratic incumbent. It was this year's closest congressional race involving an incumbent running for re-election in California, and even Dreier called himself "humbled" by the outcome at his victory speech on election night.
While the 52-year old Dreier wields extraordinary power on Capitol Hill, he is also a political Zelig with a talent for landing in the middle of everything that matters. He is well known to many people, constituents and others, as a telegenic talking head who pops up regularly on cable news talk shows, sometimes seeming to be on more than one at a time.
Dreier is close to the Bush family and is said to have the ear of President Bush's omnipotent political consigliere, Karl Rove. Back in California, as one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's top advisers during last year's recall election, he seemed to be everywhere - at Schwarzenegger's side during important photo ops, on television as a Schwarzenegger surrogate, and negotiating Schwarzenegger's sole debate appearance - while also somehow finding time to run one of the most important committees in Congress.
After the recall, he chaired Schwarzenegger's transition team while enjoying numerous entreaties to challenge Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. That exercise ginned up numerous news stories and television interviews for Dreier before he decided against making a run.
With power, visibility, and a congressional district drawn for Republicans, Dreier's future seemed limitless. That is, until two guys named John Kobylt and Ken Chiampu stepped in to reinforce former House Speaker Tip O'Neill's time-honored adage: all politics is local.
Kobylt and Chiampu host a daily talk show, "John and Ken," on KFI-AM, a Los Angeles radio station popular with conservatives. Recently, their chief topic has been illegal immigration. The two championed Arizona's ballot initiative to deny some public services to illegals, and held a contest to single out lawmakers they claim had done little to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants over California's border.
Winner of that contest - later dubbed their "Political Human Sacrifice" - was none other than Dreier, who has supported Bush's proposed guest worker program to grant legal status to millions of immigrants living in the United States. He has also championed more H1-B visas to foreign workers.
"Dreier's been on our show many times, using 30-minute filibusters to promote himself," Kobylt said in an interview. "He and other California Republicans whine about illegal immigration, but it's all lip service. So we decided the only way to get any action was to fire someone."
Thus began the John and Ken's "Fire Dreier" campaign, complete with a listener-designed Web site, video, and daily rantings on their show. So active were the two that the National Republican Congressional Committee filed a federal election complaint against the show, calling it an illegal campaign contribution to Dreier's opponent.
Dreier declined to come on the show to defend himself, but fought back hard with radio ads stressing his support of legislation making it harder to forge Social Security cards and penalizing employers who knowingly hire illegals. Schwarzenegger even recorded phone messages for Dreier, calling him "tough as nails" on immigration.
"Immigration is a very emotional issue, and there is a group of voters who have an intense, intense dislike for illegal immigrants," said Allan Hoffenblum, editor of the California Target Book. "Dreier has the same position that Bush has, which a lot of right wingers don't like, and it's easier to go after Dreier than Bush."
For his part, Kobylt said the immigration issue was a populist concern that both parties had effectively dropped.
"Republicans are in bed with businesses who like low labor costs, and Democrats have this socialist bent," he said. "But the taxpayers in this country cannot be responsible for a corrupt, bankrupt country like Mexico. We should start throwing employers in jail, a few fat rich white guys in prison."
Kobylt boasted that he was sure their campaign would open Dreier to a serious primary challenge in 2006, but Hoffenblum was more skeptical.
"The Republican establishment strongly, strongly supports him," Hoffenblum said. "Dreier would have Schwarzenegger walking precincts for him, and the president would probably join him."
It depends. What did he win with in 2000 and 2002?
One think about John Kobylt: he says it like it is. He is so refreshing on the air because he really WON'T spin! No loofahs either! He is Mr. Raging Common Sense.
Three things need to happen that will help to solve America's illegal immigration problem. First, the feds have to make an honest effort at sealing the borders shut, once and for all. Second. There must be full enforcement of existing laws that punish employers for hiring illegals. And finally, the feds must end any and all government welfare funding to illegals.
Open borders and employers who want cheap labor equate to continued poor policy that will only exacerbate the overall problem. NO policy agenda to control and reduce illegal immigration into the US will ever work, unless the borders are slammed shut first.
Ready for natl syndication?
God forbid anyone mobilize to defeat the Sanchez sisters, or Boxer, or ....
---if we are going to punish employers so hard for employing illegals, we better make sure they can't be hit with a discrimination suit for attempting to sort them out---
Yes it is
This is the party's major weak point.
To the libertarians thinking out there saying this just a free market a flow of labor to where it gets it best price... the fact is this cheap labor does not pay for itself a lot is payed under the table so not taxed (One reason I favor a national sale tax and no income tax) and every worker along with there wife and kid's consume vast amounts of tax payer dollars in soc. services the tax payer are in effect providing subsidized labor to business
you are kidding! John & Ken are total blowhards and always have been. Why is there no focus on the DNC rep they picked to join their attacks on Dreier after it was clear they had an agenda? Their whole stance on this issue is absurd because the DemoncRATs are the true obstructionists when it comes to immigration because they cry "racist" every time reforms are passed or suggested. John & Ken don't tell it like it is, they try to generate ratings, plain & simple. And their blatant inconsistencies and absurd positioning over the years is what's left this former listener a realist when it comes to their cross-eyed DNC friendly politics.
#1 - "John and Ken" aren't all that popular. They are just one morning radio show in a very large market. This was their shtick.
#2 - What may have hurt Dreier more than the immigration issue was that he was outed as a closeted gay.
This is the biggest load of crap I've seen all day.
You know hundreds of thousands of people that live within his district eh? You get the BS award of the day! Congratulations!
a) I don't listen to talk radio.
b) I know full well that NO democrat, especially in CA, can whisper a word against illegals for fear of banishment.
c) I know that CA is going to return more dems than republicans in any given election - for now at least.
d) I know that President Bush and the establishment believe that they can slide another amnesty past the masses under cover of everything else on the agenda (admittedly, a big agenda).
e) Apparenbtly this stunt cut the margin by 16% or so - not enough to lose a republican seat but at least some small message to the party.
f) So regardless of who the initiators were and regardless, or maybe because, the result was not a loss - I'd say do it again and again until the message gets across.
Drier has a connection to the Saudi family as well - I think he's looking to be Homeland Security Chief - another clown pig at the trough - even if Americans die...
O Lord, another one of "what about Joe Baca" bait and switcher. Yeah, Boxer was up for reelection this past term, GOP ran a boring, proillegal moderate against her, how did that work out?
Maybe if you weren't racist you would have supported Escobar or Coronado against the Sanchez girls. But no, you preferred to attack Bill Jones and David Dreier for not supporting shooting immigrants on sight .....
Oh my goodness, another one of those drooling, emotional ranters at the "DemonRats" gimmie a break. The GOP controls the Governor's mansion, the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Why don't you spin me another tale about the Democrat Boogie man preventing all these wonderful GOP warriors from doing what they want. Time to put down the KoolAid glass and start thinking.
John is an antiChristian zealot and they're both social liberals, however; Who is proposing the latest round of indirect-Amnesty again? That would be R-Bush. Who is responsible for stopping the roundups in Temecula and preventing them from restarting? That would be R-Hutchinson. Who is responsible for NO illegal employing businesses from being prosecuted? That would have been R-Ashcroft (we'll see what this new token latino attorney general does, keep your fingers crossed Steven).
The biggest opposition to enforcing the borders is within the Republican party, because they have tremendous campaign contributions from businesses that employ them and save tremendously by not hiring Americans. Its CHEAP LABOR, when in doubt, follow the money.
The Republican Party's matra is to stick Americans with the bill by MAXIMIZING PROFITS, SOCIALIZING COSTS.
This sums it up. The Republicans who facilitate illegal immigration are essentially the same as Ante-Bellum Democrats, who were beholden to the peculiar institution of slavery. Like illegal immigration, slavery reduced labor costs. And labor costs are a powerful heap of interest.
You mean when did I stop beating my wife?
If this is the intellectual brainpower apologist for proillegal cheap-labor Republicans have, Americans have reason to celebrate in the coming decade. I just hope the Tijunaization of American cities isn't complete after being sold out for 3 decades.
But no, you preferred to attack Bill Jones and David Dreier for not supporting shooting immigrants on sight
I can't believe I'm even bothering to respond to such an emotional post, but to be clear didn't attack Bill Jones, I voted for him. Waste of time, but I did, he failed all on his lonesome, maybe if they run and even more liberal Republican next time they'll be able to win.
I was guessing husband, but whatever ....
Seriously though, to think that in a land blessed with a gay bar to every conservative and 1000 liberals for every gay bar that people actually spend time attacking one of the conservatives for not being pure enough .... what the f.....
Inferring a conservative freeper is a racist and spouse beater...
Look who is "eating their own".
There is no response you could have given, except a cute quip. Your post was 100 percent BS.
Hey no fair, injecting reason in a perfectly good emotional temper tantrum :-)
Trying to act like you were being funny calling me a racist and implying I want to shoot mexicans? Not buying it, you were totally innappropriate.
to think that in a land blessed with a gay bar to every conservative and 1000 liberals for every gay bar that people actually spend time attacking one of the conservatives for not being pure enough
If that were true, how in the world did propositions outlawing Gay marriage, property tax hikes, benefits to illegals the list goes on and on get passed in this state? Because the GOP doesn't reach out to this state's vast numbers of conservative independents. They assume, wrongly like you, that the state really is a land of fruits and nuts and trys to out Dem the Dems, which is precisely how as the rest of nation goes completely for the GOP, this state still sits with Dems like Boxer winning landslide victories despite popularity ratings below 50%.
Don't give me this conservative "enough" nonsense. On immigration there are a handful of Republicans who are "conservative" the rest are actively working against native Americans. One seat wouldn't have mattered in this past election, and it would have sent a powerful message to Washington desperately in need of a wakeup call.
I'll be interested to see if such a candidate emerges. Challenging a powerful incumbent from one's own party doesn't go over well. If you succeeded in knocking him off without the blessing of the party bigwigs, you'd be an outcast within the caucus, you'd have a hard time getting your bills passed, and you'd have to run for reelection with your own resources.
"God forbid anyone mobilize to defeat the Sanchez sisters, or Boxer, or ..."
OR, as the story below illustrates what millions of people are going through on a daily basis and trying to get across to you.
Last modified Wednesday, April 9, 2003 1:42 PM PDT
Esparza pleads guilty to killing nun
KLAMATH FALLS (AP) - Maximiliano Silerio Esparza pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that he raped two nuns and killed one of them as they walked and prayed on a bike path last September.
Esparza, 33, was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Sister Helen Lynn Chaska, 53. He got another 10 years for the attempted murder of the surviving nun, and 15 years for raping the women.
In return for his guilty plea, Esparza avoided a possible death sentence.
In a statement, Edwin Caleb, the Klamath County district attorney, said he offered the plea for several reasons, including the surviving nun's religious convictions. Caleb said he didn't want to force the nun to testify.
"The most obvious reason is the certainty that this monster will be in jail for the rest of his life and never get the opportunity to offend again," he said.
Police say Esparza rode a train from Portland to Klamath Falls about a week before the attack. He visited a strip bar and then attacked the nuns early on a Sunday morning as they prayed on the downtown bike path.
Esparza head-butted one of the nuns, then raped them both while controlling them with the rosary beads around their necks, police said.
Chaska - who went by the name Sister Helena Maria - was strangled by her own beads, according to an autopsy. She was a nun with the Bellevue, Wash., Immaculate Heart of Mary, a small order unaffiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
Several months before the attack, Esparza was detained and let go by U.S. Border Patrol agents in New Mexico even though he had spent three years in California prisons and had once been deported.
The agents did turn up an old drug charge in Oregon, but Multnomah County passed on extraditing him. The warrant was apparently the only evidence of Esparza's criminal past that surfaced during the checks.
Once Oregon declined to extradite, Esparza was treated like any other undocumented Mexican and was dropped off at the border.
Waaaaah, waaaaah, throw a political temper tantrum, elect a Democrat, and hope Republicans pay attention to your sorry ass. Give me a break!!
How about stop being such a baby and work to beat a DEMOCRAT.
I have heard SO MUCH CRAP from California conservatives, just pure stupidity like the California Republican Assembly endorsing Tony Strickland for US Senate -- oops, guess he didn't even end up running, and endorsed Bill Jones -- and now stupid stunts like this, looking at Dreier and Sanchez and deciding DREIER is the one don't like.
You people are long on chromosomes and short on IQ, I tell ya, but at least your clowning keeps the Democrats rolling in the aisles .....
What part of "inappropriate" did you fail to comprehend?
How about stop being such a baby and work to beat a DEMOCRAT.
You are so brilliant. You're talents are being wasted posting on an old thread on FR, you need to be on cable news as a commentator with such revolutionary concepts.
and endorsed Bill Jones
Yeah, working hard to beat a Democrate, how did that work out? After all you're the one ranting about how gay CA is. Republicans go their 30% registered like me, but the conservatives that--here's something for when they call you to go on the news to commentate--DON'T LIKE AND DON'T TRUST REPUBLICANS aren't voting for weak kneed guys that have an R in front of their name.
I have heard SO MUCH CRAP from California conservatives
I have enjoyed in every one of your posts, from the "eating your own" contradiction, to trying to shine me on to attack Dems....by personally insulting me, to this where you accuse me of whining, and then turn around and throw a tantrum about the CRA and a bunch of other nonsequitars to get some things off your chest....as if I'm supposed to console your whining? Agree with you? After you've been such a completely unlikeable dickhead? Another contradiction:that I am the one low on IQ.
Dreier had the worst record on immigration of any Republican in either the House or Senate, he's been there way too long, and the GOP was going to pick up more seats in the House this election any how, it would have been a powerful message to send him home for the future of the GOP. Oh well, I guess if we keep beating on the minority party that is shrinking every election cycle. That strawman is serving us well. Brilliant.
Even radical ZPG groups like Americans for Better Immigration don't stoop to such hyperbole. http://grades.betterimmigration.com/testgrades.php3?District=CA&VIPID=96
You are so brilliant.
You're taking orders from a couple of guys named John and Ken, so don't even pretend you have any intellect to speak of.
Even radical ZPG groups like Americans for Better Immigration don't stoop to such hyperbole.
Now what part of "had" don't you understand? Yes, his grades on there have gone up, certainly unrelated to any pressure applied to him the polical human sacrafice because he was above reproach. Now back in the summer, he had an '8' on that same site, the lowest in either branch of Congress.
You're taking orders from a couple of guys named John and Ken
I take orders from no one, most especially jerks who's primary method of persuasion is insulting and continually contradicting themselves.
I'd love it if they were syndicated -- much more sane than Michael Savage (IMO) and they really get into what they believe -- I'm not in California any longer, but I've always liked these guys and do catch them on the internet (KFI640).. First they went after ASA Hunchinson and he sent his boss to complain to Clear Channel about their email/FAX/phone call campaign so then they started the firing campaign -- one Dem and one Republican. Every Candidate but two (one each party) came on the station to take calls and the two that refused were offered up for sacrafice.
They aren't a morning show. They are an afternoon show and have a large following.
Looks to me like the Dems keep getting elected because Californian's keep VOTING for them... if people had gotten behind the guy going after Boxer he might have pulled a Thune in California... he really didn't lose by that much considering no one ever heard about him.
Wrong, they are between 3-7 PM week days...and yes, they are pretty popular, since KFI640 is the station who carries Rush Limbaugh between 9-12 Noon daily.
#2 - What may have hurt Dreier more than the immigration issue was that he was outed as a closeted gay.
Where did you get that idea?!
Your "points" might be well taken if you knew something about their show. They are an afternoon drive time, not morning. If you're such an expert on them, I would have thought this detail would have been easy.
Try a google search for david dreier gay and see how thousands of hits you get. Whether he is or he isn't, should not have been a germane issue. But it was one running rampant through the grapevine. I first heard it at a precinct captain meeting in September. The rumor had been attributed to the radio show in question.
"Wrong, they are between 3-7 PM week days...and yes, they are pretty popular, since KFI640 is the station who carries Rush Limbaugh between 9-12 Noon daily."
I'll take your word for it, because at that time I am listening to Larry Elder on KABC Talkradio 790 AM, on my commute and errands. I may have been thinking about the EGBOK guy who just retired.
Yes, it is a cautionary tale to him, but not with regards to immigration.
Thanks - I have been informed. Do you know what the LA market ratings are?
...well than drop it!
David is my Congressman and he did a lot of good things for our city.
I do have a beef with him about his stance on immigration, but under no circumstances I want him replaced.
His choice of sexual preferences is not my concern as long he is doing the job he was elected to do, namely representing the Foothills of San Gabriel.
Possibly you could present some recent rating data. As I have stated, I don't listen to their show.
If Dreier had been my Representative, I would have gladly voted for him too. When I lived in the San Gabriel Valley, I was not in his district (I was then stuck with Marty Martinez). But the homosexuality issue was certainly a factor for some voters.