Skip to comments.California Governor's Race: Tammany Hall's Next Target – Simon's Faith
Posted on 08/16/2002 7:47:48 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
California Governor's Race: Tammany Hall's Next Target Simon's Faith
Patrick MallonThis is the sixth article in a weekly series on the California governor's race. See previous articles:
Friday, Aug. 16, 2002
California Governor's Race: Defying the Lies as Bombs Fly (8/9)
Stealth Agenda Trumps Academic Success in Schools (8/2)
Simon Survives Attacks, Davis Cons for Cash (7/26)
Paralyzed From Facing Reality (7/19)
California: Wanted! An Ethical Governor. Apply Within (7/15)
While newspapers and editorialists take faux potshots at the Davis team's cynical fund raising, Simon confronts far more challenging problems: lawsuits, and a problem raising money. Confounding the critics, though, Simon leads Davis in the latest SurveyUSA poll 46-45.
But back in the world of bad impressions, Simon faces the possibility of having to testify on Oct. 16 (three weeks before the election) in a lawsuit designed to recover family business losses when the former Western Federal Savings and Loan failed in 1993.
What fortuitous timing for Davis. Just like the decision in the fraud case. It's almost like someone has a handle on when and how these decisions will come down. It was Michael Douglas playing Gordon Gecko in the movie "Wall Street" who said to Bud Fox: "Every war is won before it's fought. Think about it, pal."
This race is no longer about what each issue-avoiding candidate is saying about the other guy. The state is bankrupt and has just issued $30 billion in bonds. Only Louisiana has a lower credit rating than California. So when the bonds hit the street, who will buy them?
No matter what Garry South and Bob Mulholland heave at Simon, they can't manipulate the fact that their guy is the state CEO and is disliked by a majority of voters.
Davis the Boss Tweed of California's Tammany Hall
Chutzpah and unmitigated gall are tame terms to describe Gray Davis and his fund-raising machine. Can anyone say extortion racket? Few Californians realize the extent to which they are paying the salaries of state employees who in turn are aggressively working to re-elect Davis, on the taxpayer's dime. And heads of government agencies openly admit they give to Davis because they fear retribution should he be re-elected.
But heck, that's nothing. It's all been reported, evoking a huge yawn of indifference from a collusive press, the supposed watchdogs of government. The arrogance of dipping into the public trough, doling out pay raises and regulatory exceptions in exchange for donations, reached an absurd height this week.
Davis is pushing his flunky, Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson, to advance a measure that would give $100 million in tax credits to the motion picture industry. That's $100 million from empty coffers, while the Democrats demand tax increases.
The "legislation" makes entire sense. Film moguls Steven Spielberg and Stephen Bing have handed Davis a collective fistful of close to $500,000.
In 1905, ex-Sen. George Washington Plunkett of New York's infamous Tammany Hall machine expressed his philosophy about money and politics: "The day may come when we'll reject the money of the rich as tainted, but it hadn't come when I left Tammany Hall at 11:25 today."
Plunkett's formula for staying on top for seven decades of New York City rule was: "Tammany is the ocean, reform the waves, and there is a lot of unofficial patronage to ride out the storms if you know the ropes. Why don't reformers last in politics? Because they are amateurs and you must be a pro. Politicians do not have to steal to make a living because a crook is a fool and a politician can become a millionaire through 'honest graft.' " Garry South and Steve Maviglio couldn't have written it better.
The Abortion Governor Sets Up the Next Assault
Hannah-Beth Jackson of the 35th Assembly District, D-Santa Barbara, has been assigned to create the pretext for the next Davis assault on Bill Simon. A wedge issue like no other: abortion.
Jackson has authored AB 2194, a bill that would modify the Therapeutic Abortion Act to require that all state residency schools in obstetrics and gynecology provide training in the performance of abortion services.
And the connections? Hannah-Beth served on the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women and was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown to serve on the California Commission on the Status of Women. Gray Davis was Brown's chief of staff.
Co-authors of Jackson's bill are the usual pro-family gang: domestic partner advocates Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, and Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles. Any wonder why the 61 percent margin that passed Proposition 22 (reaffirming the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman) feel they wasted their time?
Anyway, when Davis was in a tough primary battle before becoming governor, he enlisted the help of one of the most extreme organizations in the Democratic Party, the California Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL).
In exchange for their help, Davis agreed to endorse every policy position asserted by CARAL. And to prove how committed he was, he made CARAL's director, Susan Kennedy, his Cabinet secretary, the state's highest staff adviser, the person who determines what the governor hears and who he sees.
Perhaps it makes entire sense, then, that Davis, a putative Catholic, received the following highly public rebuke from Sacramento Monsignor Edward Kavanagh after Kavanaugh received an invitation to attend an event in honor of Davis' inauguration in 1999:
"Gray Davis is an outspoken, militant champion of violence the most cold-blooded violence of killing preborn and partially born human beings."
Simon's Faith Being Tested
Anyone picked up on the fact that Simon's faith comes into question, and Davis' does not? The LA Times, perhaps as a warning of the next storm brewing on the horizon, has started to run reports on Simon's Christian faith.
In an Aug. 11 piece titled "Simon Describes His Anchor," staff writer Matea Gold described how Simon "has been pummeled up and down California with questions about taxes and lawsuits and GOP politics." With the Times doing most of the pummeling.
"I have a very, very strong belief in God and a very strong belief in human nature, and a very strong belief that if you try to do the right thing, that it's not going to be like God's going to pay you back, but you'll end up in a good place," Simon said. He added that he prays every day and reads the Bible regularly.
He is careful to even mention he is a Christian, knowing how quickly the press will bury him for a value system they work so hard to discredit and disdain. This will be his biggest challenge when the abortion issue hits him like a hurricane in the coming weeks.
It may seem hopeless now, because that's what the press wants people to believe. They've told Simon to give up, just as they've convinced you to give up. The hardest part about being persecuted is that it never seems to end.
Vanity, Self-Admiration and the Danger of Overconfidence
Back in the primary days of March, Davis spoke to supporters and prepared for certain victory in November. "Bill Simon is a true-blue think-tank conservative. I am a practical problem-solver." With so many problems now solved, the governor can do what he does best, shill for cash and let the newspapers cover his behind.
In the end, they will all endorse Davis in a twisted form of prophecy self-fulfilled, rationalizing that Davis is the best of two bad candidates.
As the governor said to the same gathering: "We need to keep moving California forward. Not backward and certainly not to the right."
"Moving forward" translated: Ignore and discredit voter-passed initiatives, deny English-only instruction to minorities struggling for social advancement, omit discussion of the billions being spent by taxpayers on services for immigrants, and sign bills that immerse the homosexual agenda into public schools.
These policies define a "progressive centrist," a label the press, both print and television, have warmly embraced and refined as "mainstream." And gosh, who wants to be perceived as outside mainstream thought? Think of the embarrassment and social ostracism, especially at barbecues and soccer games.
It used to be that the Pledge of Allegiance and the good works of the Boy Scouts engendered honor and respect. What happened? What happened is that California, largely a conservative state, has been co-opted by a very powerful minority of liberal lawyers, lobbyists and judges, as well as thug-like civil rights activists and race-baiters, all comfortably protected by a Marxian socialist press led by the LA Times.
Once informed voters, regardless of party affiliation or beliefs, get past that reality and exercise a modicum of independent thinking, they'll confront the biggest question of all: Will things get any better or will they get worse if Gray Davis is re-elected?
Better yet, they may ask: Am I still employed? And if so, will their company consider relocating to a state more attractive to "big business"? Remember, in the Davis world: Big business bad, government good!
The one distinct advantage conservatives, and Simon's gubernatorial hopes, have going for them is Gray Davis himself.
You may e-mail Patrick Mallon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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