Skip to comments.GOP Can Revive The State (California); Thank You From Bill Simon
Posted on 12/06/2002 7:30:53 AM PST by ZGuy
California is in crisis
By Richard Riordan and Bill Simon Jr., Richard Riordan was the mayor of Los Angeles from 1992 to 2000. Bill Simon Jr. was the Republican candidate for governor in 2002.
We are struggling through the first recession in almost a decade. The state government faces a crushing, two-year budget deficit of some $40 billion. And we face a number of serious long-term problems: Housing starts are meeting only 50% of our needs. More than 7 million residents lack health insurance. Our schools remain near the bottom of national rankings. The state's businesses are overburdened by excessive electricity rates, strict overtime rules and soaring costs for health care and workers' compensation insurance.
The Democrats in Sacramento have grown complacent as their numbers have swelled; they are reluctant to tackle these difficult problems. But Republicans have not taken advantage of the Democrats' weakness. On election day last month, we failed to unseat Gray Davis -- perhaps the most unpopular governor in our state's history -- and all other statewide offices went to the Democrats.
The election results would seem to bode ill for the prospects of California Republicans. But political shifts happen quickly here, and we have a number of reasons to be optimistic. We believe that a resurgent Republican Party will spark the rejuvenation of our state.
Republicans are currently cultivating a number of creative and energetic leaders who will guide our party in this new century. Arnold Schwarzenegger clearly demonstrated his potential in his successful campaign for the passage of Proposition 49, which will expand before- and after-school programs in our public schools.
And other bright young Republicans are emerging throughout the state. Abel Maldonado is a family farmer now serving as an assemblyman in the 33rd District. Alan Autry is the dynamic young mayor of Fresno. Lynn Daucher, a former teacher from Orange County, is a part of the Republican leadership in the state Assembly. And Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security advisor, will one day return to California.
These are the diverse faces of the new Republican Party in California.
What's more, the Republican Party can offer more innovative policies to address the real problems of Californians. Public education, affordable housing, health care, public safety -- on all of these issues, we can provide more creative solutions than the Democrats can.
We understand how powerful the free market can be, especially when it is harnessed in service of the disadvantaged. We understand that excessive regulation (even if well intentioned) is often harmful to the economy. We understand that higher taxes cause pain, especially for the most vulnerable members of our community.
Operating with a huge electoral advantage, the Democrats have squandered their opportunities. They have mishandled all the major crises of the last few years: the electricity shortage, the budget deficit and the recent recession. And they've started to treat the state Capitol as their own private clubhouse.
Californians yearn for an alternative. Independents -- and even many Democrats -- were reluctant to vote for Davis. Despite his spending close to $30 million (and using all the advantages of his office), Davis received only 47% of the vote.
The state of California clearly needs a strong Republican Party. As we all know, democracy is most effective when two powerful parties offer competing visions of the future. As Republicans, we need to do a better job of articulating our vision for the future of the state.
Too often have we focused on hot-button social issues instead of offering innovative policy solutions. Too often have we stifled healthy debate by engaging in petty political posturing. Too often have we capitalized on fear to gain a temporary advantage at the polls.
It's worth remembering that, just a few years ago, California had a Republican governor and a closely divided Legislature. Fortune is likely to swing back again, but only if we Republicans focus on our shared values and offer a compelling, positive vision of the future of California.
Over the next few years, the two of us will be teaming with Republicans across California to move the party forward. We will be working to broaden the Republican base of support, recruiting new leaders from the state's many diverse communities.
We are particularly excited about the effort to create a Republican think tank that will generate new ideas, provide policy support to party candidates and disseminate our messages to the public. Modeled on the Democrats' Public Policy Institute of California, such an organization will help us stay on the cutting edge of public policy.
We challenge all Republicans across California -- from moderate to conservative -- to rally around our shared goals: economic growth, public safety, outstanding schools, affordable housing and a better life for the sick and the poor.
Together we can transform the political landscape in California. Together we can generate new ideas to revive our state. Together we can offer Californians the visionary leadership that they deserve.
Four years from now, we predict, the whole country will be marveling at the incredible comeback of the California Republicans.
This past Thanksgiving weekend we were reminded that we as Americans have much to be thankful for.
Personally, I was also reminded how much thanks I owe you for the outpouring of support you have shown me over the past 22 months as I have traveled our great state, meeting many of you and talking about my vision for California's future.
Despite the election outcome, our campaign is not ended. California continues to need voices who will speak out and leaders who will address the needs of our people. I will continue talking about issues that are important to Californians and I will continue fighting to renew the California Dream.
I hope you will continue to stand with me in this important fight.
Thank you and may God bless California,
Ah-nold will never make it out of a GOP primary if he tries to run, between his liberal positions and all his sexual escapades, there's just no way (and even if he does, he'll get roasted either against Boxer or the Dem. nominee in '06 for Governor). I say we go with Bill Jones or Tom McClintock, or even Simon, again.
One could say that the situation the GOP finds itself in in California is similar, but even worse, than the dimwitcrats find themselves in nationally. Like the dems, the Calif. GOP suffered some great losses in the recent election.
But is Riordan or Simon pointing fingers, whining or crying? No - they instead present a clear, concise case for their point of view. Agree or disagree - at least it's out there.
The difference between this and the recent rantings of Tiny Tom, Algore, and the impeached one couldn't be clearer.
To put it simply - Simon and Riordan are adults adressing adults.
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Where will the money come from for this portion of the "cradle to grave" mentality that is sinking this state to a third world status.