Orange-County Courant

Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

War of the newspapers over Umberg affair


Dear Sir or Madame,

It's always interesting (for me) to read of disputes within the MSM. Frank Mickadeit had a good column this morning that delves into the journalistic process between editors and writers and rival columnists and newpapers. He gives a pass to his teammate, John Gittelsohn, for getting "scooped" by the LA Times's Jean Pasco on the Umberg affair by arguing that the affair isn't the real damaging, controversial story here. He may have a point.

Here's the link to the article: The inside story on Umberg revelations.

Extramarital affairs being covered in the media are a dime-a-dozen these days. The subject is unfortunate, but the fact that they're exposed and ostracized I believe to be a good thing. Umberg can climb out of the small ditch Pasco dug with the affair exposure.

What Umberg cannot climb out of is the Register's (Gittelsohn's) deeper probe into the whereabouts of Tom Umberg during his wife's campaign for his Assembly seat. She said out on the campaign trail that he was in Guantanamo Bay prosecuting Islamofascists and protecting the country. The Register says records show he was probably in Washington D.C., living the high life and carrying on the last few months of a four year romantic affair during most of his time out of California.

Now Assemblyman Tom Umberg is running for Joe Dunn's soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat while all of this information will be coming to light. Add to it the fact that he is carpetbagging in his Assembly District, against state regulations, and you've got yourself a full-blown excrement storm.

I've been reading on other blogs, like Hack n Flak, that Assemblyman Tran is seriously considering a run at succeeding John Campbell in the 35th SD. In light of the recent developments, I think it would be unwise for Tran to run against Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh (who has already expressed interest), when there's another opportunity where Republicans could pick up a Senate seat running against a shamed Tom Umberg.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Wish I was there


Dear Sir or Madame,

CNET News has a story today linked through Drudge that should be considered of paramount importance to readers and colleagues: Federal Election Commission political blog regulations. Luckily we have good, bipartisan, representatives in front of the commission to argue our case.

Here's the link to the story: Bloggers plead for freedom from election laws.

Here's some pieces of it that caught my attention:

"The FEC is under a court order to extend campaign finance rules to the Internet, and the Democratic commissioners voted not to appeal." Democrats sticking up for the little guy again, right?

And

"Carol Darr of the Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet warned that the so-called media exception would be abused. If the FEC veered in that direction, Darr said, you'd see 'the campaign finance laws that we've operated under for 50 years just crumble.'" Oh no, campaign finance laws crumbling! We can't let people freely contribute to the political discussion!

I love this issue because it divides the Left. They have to decide between upholding their demands that government regulate and coerce us in everything we do or defending free speech in all its vulgar, unwashed, forms. What will they do?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Esther Jones gets failing grade in Orange County Register


Dear Sir or Madame,

I loudly applaud the editorial staff at the Orange County Register for further exposing the local issue of administratively sought grade inflation. So often, editorial pages of big papers, like the Register, take sides on the glamorous national issues and neglect the proximate local issues. This case in Santa Ana is important, for it deals with fraud in our neighborhoods as a response to a national policy.

Here's the link: Give principal an 'F'.

A lot of what is argued in the Register's editorial has been said before on various local blogs, but I always appreciate the reiteration.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD

Assemblyman Haynes's Monday, June 24 morning memorandum


Dear Sir or Madame,

This was forwarded to me two days ago and I just got around to reading it in full. Assemblyman Haynes, who is rumored to be running for Board of Equalization District 3 (but aroundthecapitol.com doesn't have him registered on the "Bench"), to my enjoyment, represents the 66th Assembly District and heads up an unofficial Conservative Caucus in Sacramento. He's a great, thin, guy and a great American. His stinging conservative commentary is frequently published in the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Orange County Register. I particularly liked this article because it delves into the more egregious anti-gun legislation pending. Here's this week's article reproduced in full:

Missing the Target Again On Crime

Liberals in Sacramento are missing the target again. At a time when people are upset and fearful of serious sex offenders that are being placed in group homes in their neighborhood with little or no oversight, the Democrats in the legislature have once again rallied around their favorite “tough on crime” issue and declared war on… bullets!

Despite the lack of evidence that any of their goofy gun control laws have ever stopped a single murder, and despite the fact that they have already succeeded in banning scary “assault weapons”, allegedly unsafe “Saturday night specials”, and the imaginary menace of “50 caliber sniper rifles,” they have dug deeper this year to invent new ways to harass gun owners in California.

There are four major gun control bills moving through the legislature. Two are major threats to the future of gun ownership in California. One that is mostly just annoying (AB 944) adds a bogus new warning to the six warnings already required by law. Relying on discredited studies, it claims that the “State… has determined that” among other things “it is safest not to keep a gun in the home.” I guess that means you’re okay if you keep it in your purse or car?

The second more limited bill (AB 996) requires all handgun ammunition to be kept inaccessible to the public, but doesn’t explain how this is to be done. It could require all of it to be under lock and key. It could require it to be merely behind the counter. It could require specific lock requirements like the state now does for handguns. No statistics indicate that theft of ammo is a major problem in this state, and at $10-$50 per box, don’t retailers already have sufficient incentive to prevent theft? Some of the larger gun stores have rows of ammunition for sale in a wide variety of weights, bullet types, and grains of powder, under different manufacturer labels at differing prices. Keeping it all behind the counter under lock and key will be nearly unworkable for some stores.

The two bills that seem designed to stop the sale of firearms and ammunition in California are AB 352 and SB 357. Apparently written by someone who has watched too many episodes of CSI, both of these bills attempt to add high tech identifying marks to bullets to make it easier for the police to solve crimes. AB 352 sets up a cockamamie, laser-etched, micro-stamping system inside the firing pins and chambers of handguns that would mark the ejected shell casings with the make, manufacture, and serial number of the firearm. From a law-enforcement perspective, it will only provide even greater incentives for the bad guys to steal guns that won’t be registered (which is what they usually do anyways). It would also allow killers to collect marked casings at shooting ranges and then scatter them at crime scenes to confuse the police and cause law-abiding citizens to be harassed and questioned by the police. Oh yeah, and it is completely useless on revolvers. This will also require manufacturers to completely retrofit equipment and factories to make handguns that will only be sold in California. My guess that many won’t bother and will just leave the market here.

SB 357 will require every bullet in California to have an identifying number that will be traceable to the purchaser with a complicated and expensive bullet registration system. Anyone who keeps his old ammo, or casts his own bullets would be subject to expensive fines. People (including one of my own staff members!) would have to dispose of hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of unmarked ammo to comply with the new law. With 8 billion rounds of ammunition manufactured world-wide per year, and some factories turning out a million rounds a day, how can they verify that 50 rounds in a single box have the exact same serial numbers? And how do they keep them from being switched later? The industry suggests they’d have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars building special factories, just to sell handgun ammunition in California. Furthermore, while stealing ammunition (as discussed in AB 996) hasn’t been a problem before, if this bill passes it will create an immediate hot new black market for out-of-state and stolen ammunition. Is that really what they want?

I’m afraid what they want is to make gun ownership for recreational and personal protection purposes impossible in California, as manufacturers and retailers continue to flee the state.

But while these gun bills have passed the floor in their house of origin, bills to extend parole periods and require GPS tracking of sex offenders (SB 1044), prevent felons from owning sex offender group homes (SB 1046), keep sex offender group homes away from schools (SB 1051), and create a one-strike punishment for certain sex crimes against children (SB 448) have been defeated or stalled in Sacramento by the Democrat majority.

Do you feel safer yet?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

OC BLOG ASKS FOR RECALL OF (SUPERVISOR) CAMPBELL


Dear Sir or Madame,

"Roscoe C.", a member of the OC Blog blogpen, strongly suggested Orange County Republicans recall Supervisor Bill Campbell due to lack of confidence in his leadership. The persuasive argument is that Campbell has done nothing to curb the County's rampant spending and increase in pension benefits during the fiscal recovery.

Roscoe C. had this to say:

RECALL BILL CAMPBELL!

Elected officials have been recalled and even prosecuted for lesser crimes than the recent pension debacle.

Post your comments: Is there support in OC for a recall of Supervisor Bill Campbell over his pension vote?

The link for recall supporters is here: http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/2005/06/recall_bill_cam.html#comments.

Keep in touch with OC Blog for more on this development.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Re: "Moderate" Davidson loses CRNC Chairman's race after Baugh pleads for support


Dear Sir or Madame,

An anonymous blogger commenting on a post over at Hack N Flak, posted an incomplete link to an Orange County Register retraction of part of their news story mentioning Michael Davidson.

Here's the full link: Corrections and clarifications

Here's the Orange County Register's full retraction:

"Michael Davidson, who was a candidate to head the College Republican National Committee, opposes abortion rights. Because of erroneous information provided to the Register, his position was incorrectly reported in an article in the News section of the June 27 edition of the Register."

Three points, assuming the Register's retraction is appropriate:

1) There is no retraction of his "sensitivity" to environmental issues. In the wake of the SCOTUS Kelo decision, that's really important.

2) There is no retraction of the sum of money Davidson accepted from Generation Next to further his candidacy for CRNC Chairman. Without an agreement on at least one policy issue, what would be the incentive for Generation Next to support his campaign? (An FPPC investigation could easily smoke out the other sources of his support.)

And,

3) Davidson didn't necessarily request this retraction himself. Judging from his website, www.yourcrnc.org, Scott Baugh's not the only local GOP VIP to blindly support the guy. Any one of them would probably like to protect their hind quarters.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Marilyn Brewer resigns from OCTA board

Dear Sir or Madame,

Brewer was required to resign from the Board of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) because she occupies a Public Member position. She announced weeks ago that she had set aside $150,000 to explore a run at the 48th Congressional District. Folks over at OC Blog had been hounding her, appropriately, since to resign. (I tip my bonnet to them for this bit of news.) Brewer's last OCTA Board meeting was yesterday.

Marilyn Brewer is a former Assemblywoman, a "moderate" Republican, from what is now the 70th Assembly District (after the redistricting at the start of the decade, the boundaries have no doubt changed a little). So far, Brewer, and her Assembly successor, John Campbell, are the only serious candidates to announce.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Monday, June 27, 2005

"Moderate" Davidson loses CRNC Chairman's race after Baugh pleads for support


Dear Sir or Madame,

Over the weekend, Michael Davidson, two-term former chairman of California College Republicans (CCR), lost his bid for the chairmanship of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC). The CRNC is an organization that boasts a budget in the millions and membership in the hundreds of thousands. This was a hotly contested race between Davidson and CRNC immediate past treasurer and Youth for Thune organizer, Paul Gourley.

The Campus Progressives posted some good, if not biased, coverage of the CRNC National Convention here: Undercover From the CRNC (Day 2): Canto XIV. (Sidebar: If you want to know what the enemy's next generation thinks, read more on this blog. It's time well spent.)

The CRNC has a storied history of grooming college-age Republicans for "grown-up" politics. At the CRNC level, both Karl Rove and Lee Atwater had their beginnings. (These guys' names are always thrown out there in relation to College Republicans with only a few other names and the organization is over 100 years old. Thus, they're exceptional, but worth mentioning.) At the state level, it's hard to find a good Republican elected official who hasn't had some sort of dabbling in College Republicans in their past. College Republicans are useful and dedicated, if not influential (mostly on the local level). And any sort of success they enjoy that's covered in the newspapers makes great fundraising for the Party in general.

That said, it behooves us "grown-ups" to keep a closer eye on what has become, or is becoming, of these youth organizations that are affiliated politically. Do they trend conservative? Do they trend moderate (read liberal)?

In answering these questions, I don't believe Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh has done a good job. On Thursday of last week, Chairman Baugh sent out a fundraising email to the County's Republicans. I'm posting it in full for my readers.

In three days, Michael Davidson, a Republican from the University of California, Berkeley – may become the next Chairman of the College Republican National Committee.

The Chairman of the CRNC controls a powerful political machine that works closely with the White House and the Republican National Committee and has an operating budget in excess of $8 million. Past Chairmen of the CRNC include Karl Rove and Lee Atwater.

However, the election is still very close – and we have an URGENT need to raise $50,000 between now and election day.

Here is an article in yesterday’s LA Times profiling Michael and his race:
http://www.latimes.com/features/lifestyle/la-et-younggop22jun22,0,6771265.story?coll=la-home-style

From this, I hope you have a chance to learn more him, his candidacy, and how important this race actually is.

Please consider joining the over 200 donors that have already contributed over $125,000 to this campaign.

As a result of your generous support of President Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger, you have been a huge supporter of today’s Republican Party. By contributing to Michael’s campaign for CRNC Chairman, you’ll be investing in the future as well.

With the campaign winding down and the election on Saturday, our need has never been more critical. Please consider committing $1,000, $500, or $250 today. Our donor form is enclosed. You may also donate online at www.yourcrnc.org/contribute. [sic]

Last week's Los Angeles Times article was a good write-up on Davidson. It was a soft piece (more like a profile) on a young man (25), who, two years out of college, wanted to become chairman of the CRNC. But the article lacked details of his actual political opinions. We knew Mr. Davidson was a Republican, but what more than that?

Then this silly Elite and hip make up new GOP set article in today's Orange County Register answered my questions. One paragraph in it caught my eye:

The group is backing Michael Davidson to head the College Republican National Committee - between group and individual donations, they've contributed nearly $50,000. This is the guy with the spiky hair, whom they see as a good spokesman for the generation and a future leader. They like that he favors abortion rights and is sensitive to environmental issues.

Davidson favors abortion "rights" and environmental issues!

We, the members of the conservative blogosphere, don't give Daucher and Spitzer and Harman and all the other New Majority-type "moderates" a pass. Why do we give one to their underlings?!

The problem with these political newcomers is they have very little real knowledge about the foundations of our political philosophy or the American form of government and loads of daddy's money and charisma. They're enamored with an MTV culture and lack a sense of self or individual liberty within a conservative framework. They will not sternly advance our party's principles into this new century.

Conservatives need to care about and influence the next generation who seek to take hold of the reigns of what was once, clearly, their political party. Care about and influence, or apathy of the sort Baugh perpetuated last week will soon have us all lost.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Friday, June 24, 2005

Re: Umberg admits extramarital affair, wife defends


Dear Sir or Madame,

I really have to hand it to the Orange County Register for going after Tom Umberg. The affair is only serving as a catalyst to the beginning of an even greater investigation into the whereabouts of Umberg during last year's campaign season and rehashing of his questionable residency.

Here's the link: Questions dog Umberg campaign.

Colonel Umberg, who serves in the Army Reserves JAG corps (a lawyer in a military uniform), hasn't served as many days as he suggested in Guantanamo Bay. Turns out, "He also attended dinners with politicians, watched baseball games, ran a 10-mile footrace and carried out an extramarital affair with a former Assembly staffer." Could Umberg have assigned himself to active duty and participated in these improper activities on government time?

"In the e-mail, Robin Umberg wrote of her husband that 'this supposedly wonderful man is a compulsive liar.' She wrote of giving '110% working for his campaign and he establishes (an) affair. He really is a cruel man.'"

I guess my reaction to Robin is only one of surprise for the fact that she, in this quote, used no curse words. Once again, with quotes like these, Robin comes off strong. We should all be watching out for this scorned wife's political ambitions.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

CRA's response to Morrison


Dear Sir or Madame,

"Lurk" over on OC Blog has a spot-on criticism of CRA's reaction and what little Spence could drum up to refute Morrison. The fact is: the CRA is more unsuccessful than we would all like not because it takes principled stances on the issues and requires that same sort of adherence out of those it endorses, but because it fails to be the grassroots organization it says it is.

Here's the response from Spence (tip of the bonnet to OC Blog for the text):

Dear Fellow Republicans,

CRA must be doing something right. The Los Angeles Times recently published a hit piece article blasting CRA and our stand for principle over politics. What the Times' article fails to mention is the tremendous success CRA has had electing Republicans to all levels of office. This past election alone, CRA-endorsed candidates Van Tran, Chuck DeVore and Bob Huff all defeated well-funded opponents to win election.

In fact, more than two-thirds of the Republicans in the State Legislature were CRA-endorsed and supported candidates.

CRA is successful because of its dedicated members throughout the state. In the next month, we plan to multiply our effectiveness by giving our members new tools to build their local organizations, and influence elections like never before.

In July CRA will launch its all-new website. It will be a portal for activism in California. Watch for it. Read the article in the Times and see how threatened the left is by Republicans with principle.

Sincerely,


Mike Spence, PresidentCalifornia Republican Assembly

Political grassroots organizations exist for two reasons and two reasons only: to register new voters and to turn voters out to the polls. CRA has been lagging in both as of late. Just looking at Spence, you know the guy hasn't walked any precincts lately. It's even failed, as an organization, in attracting the necessary support to move the CRP to the Right. The members of the CRA make a lot of noise, but they lack the money and overall numbers to do what they once did. It's really unfortunate.

All that said, Morrison was totally incorrect for criticizing the organization for what it believes, and how it requests that those who seek its endorsement believe the same. Conservatism is popular in America. It's having a comeback with today's generation (see here Conservatism on the rise in young voters - The Daily Illini - Features and here Conservative youth raise tide of right-leaning student newspapers ....). Morrison, being an ivory tower-type academic and member of the boomer generation, represents exactly what they are rebelling against and she appears entirely ignorant.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Assemblyman DeVore on SCOTUS's Kelo decision


Dear Sir or Madame,

This was forwarded on by a friend. Good stuff. The Supremes reiterated an incorrect, living document-type, analysis of the Constitution here. Clearly there needs to be some mending of the clause at all levels of government (federal, state, local).

Liberal Majority on the U.S. Supreme Court Shreds Property Rights

After Thursday’s 5-to-4 United States Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London, Connecticut (with the soon-to-retire Chief Justice Rehnquist, and Justices O’Connor, Scalia and Thomas in dissent), no one’s property is safe.

What the Supreme Court did, in the words of Justice O’Connor, was to hang “the specter of condemnation” over all property. She wrote, “Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.” She added, “Who among us can say she already makes the most productive or attractive use of her property?”

The issue the Supreme Court grappled with has to do with the U.S. Constitution’s 5th Amendment. The 5th Amendment closes with the phrase, “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Public use has always been thought to be for cases when a government uses its powers to take private land to build a road or dam.

Sadly, the liberal majority of the court decided that public use was more broadly defined as “public purpose.” The public purpose definition allows private property to be taken from one private party and be given to another to enhance economic development. For example, when a city or redevelopment agency decides to condemn a church so as to erect a big box store in its stead to generate more sales tax revenue – land is condemned and taken from one private owner so that another private party can make better use of it.

In criticizing the majority for dumping the Constitutional principle of individual property rights Justice O’Connor warned that the liberals on the court were handing “disproportionate influence and power” to the powerful and rich.

What can we do? First we need to strengthen state protections against the abuse of eminent domain. A good place to start would be to support the proposal by state Senator Tom McClintock to amend the California Constitution to restore the original meaning of private property rights.

Based on my reading of our California Constitution, this may be fairly simple as the right to acquire, possess and protect property is mentioned in our state Constitution’s second paragraph! (See below – these words are themselves a modification of the preamble to The Declaration of Independence.)

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District
http://www.chuckdevore.com/

CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
PREAMBLE

We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.

ARTICLE 1 DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

SECTION 1. All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Spitzer's preparations for DA 2010


Dear Sir or Madame,

The Orange County Register today had a nice article detailing what appears to be Assemblyman Todd Spitzer's invitation to himself to rejoin the ranks of the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Here: D.A. offers critic (Todd Spitzer) a job. I tip my bonnet to OC Blog for the link.

Notice how Spitzer tries to put Rackauckas into the wall with, "I'm comfortable I could go back at any point." But Rackauckas, in a dignified fashion, replies only with praise, "Todd is a former prosecutor from this office who has added the depth of experience in criminal justice policy as a result of his service as a state legislator and as a County Supervisor," but no definitive answer on whether he would accept Spitzer's application for employment.

Kang Schroeder confirms what everyone had to suspect here, that, "Todd set up the meeting. Todd asked to come back to the D.A.'s office." Todd's the one begging here, because he knows he can't beat Walters in a faceoff for Ackerman's Senate seat.

Once again, Spitzer's on his way to ruffling Republican feathers and inserting himself wherever he pleases. When will he learn?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Summary of qualifications and requirements for partisan nomination


Dear Sir or Madame,

I have taken it upon myself to post the link to California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's (can't overemphasize that name by the way) summary of qualifications and requirements at play in this race. I thought it would be good of all of us to be looking at the same rules here.

http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/qualifications/us_rep_in_congress_2006.pdf

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Four elections in two years?


Dear Sir or Madame,

Special elections do not interfere with regularly scheduled elections. So, if the results of the special election are close at all, what would deter someone from challenging the victor of the special in the regularly scheduled congressional election in November 2006?

In the 48th congressional district special election, if no one won outright on the first election and candidates proceeded onto a run-off and the run-off ended up really close, that could be perceived to be just another primary. Preparations could be made to run again for the regularly scheduled 2006 primary and the November 2006 general.

The results that will finally put someone in congressional office in the 48th for a period of two years may not come until the conclusion of election day, November 2006. Am I right in thinking this?

This could get very tiring.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Umberg admits extramarital affair, wife defends


Dear Sir or Madame,

Unfortunately, this: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-umberg23jun23,0,7204323.story?page=1&coll=la-home-headlines no longer has the kind of political ramifications it did twenty years ago. We have Bill Clinton to blame for that. So in addition to Tom Umberg's foolish legislative proposals (Truth In Sports Advertising bill), he also makes foolish decisions in his personal life.

Robin Umberg, his wife, clearly comes across as a strong, poised woman. Watch how the OC Demos are going to try to draft her, after this incident, to succeed her husband in the Assembly. She even has a considerable amount of campaigning under her belt after blazing the trail to the Assembly on her unfaithful husband's behalf. We may be seeing Hillary's understudy take center stage sometime soon.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Democrats' attempt to burn books down to size, aka textbook page limitation bill (AB 756) tabled


Dear Sir or Madame,

Thank the powers that be in the Senate for putting their feet down on this one. This had to be one of the most idiotic bills proposed this year. Of course, one has to consider the source, Assemblything Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles).

The Daily Bulletin covers it here: http://www.dailybulletin.com/Stories/0,1413,203~21481~2930599,00.html.

Check out Goldberg's futal attempts to spin the loss into a win with, "I'm trying to push that textbooks need to change." And about the 200 page limit? "It's absolutely arbitrary."

Where do the Democrats find these people?! They'd be hilarious if they weren't so serious and frightening.

The publishing industry was equally idiotic for their opposition to the bill. I mentioned over on OC Blog that this bill only helps them make more money, because instead of one volume textbooks, there would be 3 or 10 or 20 volume textbooks. They could pillage the state's coffers with the printing and binding costs! What reason did they have for opposing this bill? Perhaps one of you could explain it to me.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

LATimes's Morrison rants on CRA


Dear Sir or Madame,

Patt Morrison continues the Left's all-out assault on any sort of adherence to principles here: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-morrisonjun22,0,6205741.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions.

Her article, with respect to legislative races, is completely inaccurate. There are many candidates who scored well in the California Republican Assembly's "purity test" (simply are you or aren't you a conservative) who went on to victory in the general election. My Assemblyman, Chuck DeVore, is a good example. Morrison, whose party is enormously out of favor on the national level, is surely one to rant off advice.

Forgive us our consciences, would you Ms. Morrison?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Cox's fundraising breakdown


Dear Sir or Madame,

All this talk of campaigning for the presumed soon-to-be-vacant 48th CD has gotten opensecrets.org to post new graphics up on their website's homepage. Here it is:

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/allsummary.asp?cid=N00007124

Individual contributions still make up the largest percentage of what were Cox's funds. With business PACs coming in far behind with only 34% (Finance, Isurance, Real Estate, and Health make up most of that). And they're virtually the only PACs that gave to him, or that he tapped into.

What surprised me was the low total receipts. Six million seems awfully low these days to hold a Congressional District for well over a decade, but then I remember that this is one of the country's safest seats. Whoever takes over will be there forever.

Make no mistake folks, the eyes and fingers of the Republican nation will be on this race if it is contentious because the time of office is endless if wanted. Can the most Republican county take it?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Campbell's lost his cold Hart


Dear Sir or Madame,

News just in. Senator John Campbell's District Director, Michelle Hart, will be leaving the office soon to go to work for the Governor. Hart, a top-notch "moderate" politico, will no doubt be leaving a big pair of shoes to fill in Campbell's district office. She was very close to the Senator and instrumental in his campaign for the 35th Senate District.

I long suspected, but never confirmed, that she was a frequent contributor over on OC Blog.

Could this decision to leave have anything to do with Campbell's decision to go to Washington?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: OCGOP's worried about Gilchrist


Dear Sir or Madame,

I have good reasons to believe that Scott Baugh and the Orange County Republican Party's political machine are very worried about a Gilchrist "vigilante"-style candidacy for the 48th congressional district.

There was at least one phone call last week originating out of Scott Baugh's office made to member(s) of the Saddleback Republican Assembly. The purpose of this phone call was to warn them of the Gilchrist danger and probably to discipline the group for the speaking invitation.

If Gilchrist came away from Thursday night with a successful event, garnering the hardcore, grassroots conservative support, he might get it into his head that he has enough support to challenge a good, Republican Party-toting nominee. Any talk of Gilchrist's success or of an enthusiastic audience would be bad for Baugh, who's charged with promoting his party's people. Hence, the purpose of the phone call was probably to get them to tone down talk of the event's success.

Gilchrist did have a successful event. He had attendees fired up throughout. He received a loud applause at the end for sure.

Gilchrist would have a successful campaign for Congress. He would easily have a national fundraising capability. He'd be on all the national news shows...for a simple congressional race. He would have campaign volunteers from all over the country. And he fires up the blue collar base in this district that absolutely dispises illegal aliens. The only thing he lacks is Republican registration, which people might be able to overlook in a short special election.

Watch your step here Baugh.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Monday, June 20, 2005

Laguna Beach in NYTimes, disaster & El Morro Village


Dear Sir or Madame,

While reading some of the New York Times online edition today, I ran across an article on the Laguna Beach landslide and plans to house some of the residents at El Morro Village. What a coup for Mayor Pearson-Schneider!

Here's the link: Help for Victims of Landslide May Further Delay Park Plan

As Assemblyman Chuck DeVore wrote not too long ago, the State Department of Parks and Recreation and local enviros are favoring a parking lot (for hundreds of cars, of which some will inevitably be running on gasoline and releasing emissions in a state park, thus polluting some of the only open space we have left in Orange County) over people in need. These people were the victims of a natural disaster that has been shown to have been caused by this winter's rain storms. The radical environmental groups in operation around Laguna Beach have even hired someone to simply serve as a frustration to any plans to house Bluebird Canyon families in El Morro Village.

I believe the idea to house devastated families in El Morro Village makes perfect sense. Neither the State of California nor the Department of Parks and Recreation have the money to bulldoze and build at this time. Why don't they make a little money until they pay off their debt and can afford to bulldoze and build. Simple.

I believe the Mayor should be applauded for this innovative plan, as well as her leadership in cutting from the city's budget in order to pay for reconstruction in Bluebird Canyon instead of raising taxes (Laguna to seek cuts to pay for slide fixes in today's OC Register). Not bad for a moderate Republican. Mayor, I tip my bonnet for you.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Gilchrist gives thumbs up on estate tax in Register's "The Buzz"


Dear Sir or Madame,

"Lurk" over at OC Blog uncharacteristically missed a huge issue for conservatives in the Gilchrist candidacy. In Martin Wisckol's column today, Gilchrist provides a juicy quote for his fiscally conservative Republican opponents.

When asked about his stance on taxes, he said, "I’m for taxing the ultra-rich more,” and, “Estate tax? Bring that thing back.”

In a congressional district like the 48th, his supporters better hope he was joking and that Wisckol somehow failed to mention it. Gilchrist is a former reporter. He should know quotes will inevitably be taken out of context. He has few excuses here.

He, apparently, also mentioned he doesn't believe the very wealthy should receive special priveleges. Here, he may mean priveleges with respect to their ability to hire illegal alien landscapers instead of landscaping themselves, but I'm doing a lot of reading into the comment. Mr. Gilchrist, what special priveleges do the very wealthy have, besides those that are fairly awarded to anyone in a capitalist system with money?

If Gilchrist is serious about a congressional campaign, he better hire a consultant soon to hold that tongue. But maybe that's what the few blue collars in the 48th are looking for: a straight-talking man in D.C. There may be just enough in this district's open race to get him there.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Confirmation in LAT, Jim won't "Run"


Dear Sir or Madame,

Here's a link to the Pasco story that was probably written while I was posting about the conversation she had with Rogan on Friday:

Rogan Stays Out of Race for Cox's Post

An exerpt:

"Just days after the Free Enterprise Fund, a conservative fundraising group in Washington, launched a campaign to draft James Rogan, the former congressman from Glendale said Friday that he was flattered but wasn't in the running.

"'I don't anticipate being a candidate, barring some unforeseen event,' said Rogan, who also served as undersecretary of commerce during Bush's first term and is best known for being the leading prosecutor on the House Judiciary Committee that impeached President Clinton.

"Rogan joked that it would take a personal call from Bush or Cox asking him to run in the national interest to change his mind. 'I'm not trying to be coy,' said Rogan, now an attorney living in Yorba Linda. 'I don't even live in the district. You can't say I'm out [of the race] because I was never in.'"

Notice this still isn't an absolute, William Tecumseh Sherman-style, statement of no intention. He mentioned two unforeseen events that could change his mind: a personal call from Bush and/or a personal call from Cox. Those aren't what I consider lightning strikes. They're both very possible.

Run Jim Run.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: "Kevin Hayes (?) Eyes Campbell's Seat" says Orange County Business Journal


Dear Sir or Madame,

This is an exerpt from a pay-only piece sent to OC Blog by Orange County Business Journal columnist Rick Reiff. At the end, he (the columnist) asks political junkies to spread the word. Here I go:

"Add another name to Chris Cox' scramble: commercial real estate broker Kevin Hayes Sr. Hayes says he's 'high likely' to run for John Campbell's state senate seat should Campbell succeed SEC Chairman nominee Cox in Congress. Hayes, a self-described "moderate Republican" and a New Majority Director, says he was going to compete for Cox's seat until Shady Canyon neighbor Campbell jumped in.

"'We want to keep the seat on the same street,' kids Hayes.

"The well-healed Hayes says he's prepared to self-fund what would be his first race. Hayes, 50, is a West Point grad, former Army helicopter pilot and a buddy of Dan Quayle. He founded the OC office of tenant rep Cresa 18 months ago, after operating Staubach Co.'s southern California franchise for 18 years. He says he wants 'to enhance the pro-business climate in California and add a business sense to the Legislature.'

"While conceding 'it's tough to do' ... early winners in the Cox scramble are the OC Blog website and Jon Fleischman's FlashReport (jonflash@earthlink.net), which had been feeding candidate news and rumors to political junkies. OK, guys, spread the word about Hayes."

The first thing that comes to my attention is his comfort with the "moderate" crowd at the New Majority. It's hard to discern if he wants another "moderate" like Campbell to hold the seat, if he wants another Republican like Campbell to hold the seat, if he wants another male like Campbell to hold the seat, or if he wants another rich snob who can afford houses in Campbell's neighborhood to hold the seat, when he says that he wants to keep the seat on the same street.

Someone on
OC Blog started a line of comments scoffing at Hayes's six years in the military. Six years is the minimum service required of West Point graduates. In all fairness to Hayes, I think this criticism pointless. He served his country, which is more than most can say. End of story. Criticizing six years of service is just military-insider-type chest thumping.

If Baugh jumps into the 35th Senate District race, it's over. But all that's
if and only if Campbell succeeds Cox in the 48th Congressional District. We're not even sure of that at this point.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The 48th: Rogan Draft turns him...off


Dear Sir or Madame,

On every table of last night's Flag Day Dinner rested a dozen bumper stickers reading "Run Jim Run". Presumably, the creators and distributors of these stickers were seeking the entrance of Jim Rogan into the race to fill Congressman Cox's not-yet-vacant 48th congressional seat. Instead, in reaction to a press release issued by a conservative PAC based out of D.C., Rogan told the Los Angeles Times's Jean Pasco he would not go for it.

Former Assistant District Attorney turned Judge turned California State Assembly Minority Leader turned Congressman turned Undersecretary of Commerce turned legal consultant Jim Rogan said his reasons for running were many, but mostly he doubted the district's affinity for a carpetbagger. While convinced the rumors of a candidacy were great for book sales, he seemed quite unsure about the propriety of carpetbagging in a district with so many other qualified candidates. And he seemed very embarassed by the large, anonymous support for him at the dinner.

Jim Rogan is an honorable and frank man. If he says he's out, he's out. So all the conservatives out there displeased with the only choice available to them right now, Campbell, need to start searching elsewhere. I wish them well in their efforts.

Yours in liberty

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Friday, June 17, 2005

The 48th: Re: A Minuteman-Congressman?


Dear Sir or Madame,

I forgot to mention. Gilchrist's explanation of why he didn't answer the Congress question in front of everyone: he didn't want the SRA meeting to turn into a campaign event without providing the organization with some kind of forewarning. He wanted to speak on the issue of illegal immigration particularly, not the race to succeed Congressman Cox.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: A Minuteman-Congressman?


Dear Sir or Madame,

Last night I attended the Saddleback Republican Assembly meeting. Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project that patrolled America’s southern border in Arizona this past April, was the monthly meeting’s speaker. With rumors that Gilchrist has thoughts of running for Congress, and the disturbing turn of events at the last public speaking event for Gilchrist in Garden Grove a few weeks ago, this meeting was sure to be interesting.

As mentioned in the FlashReport, Nicolas Romero, a representative from Assemblyman Chuck DeVore’s office stood up during the allotted question and answer period of the meeting and asked Gilchrist if he would run for Congress and why he wouldn’t run as a Republican. Gilchrist answered, “I’m not going to answer that first question at this time.” Then he proceeded to explain that while being registered Democrat when he was younger, he is now registered American Independent in protest to both parties’ handling of the issue of immigration. He said he really votes Republican, and is a big fan of State Senator Tom McClintock and Congressman Tom Tancredo. He came off as a strong defender of the second amendment and a great friend of law enforcement.

During the meeting, Gilchrist was honored with certificates of appreciation from the California Republican Assembly.

I hung around after the meeting, while people were clambering to get their time and pictures with Gilchrist. He happened to strike up a conversation with someone who asked about the Congress question and I happened to be within earshot. Like the FlashReport’s account of questioning before the meeting, Gilchrist again said that he would run for Congress if he thought he could get the support.

Judging from those in attendance, Jim Gilchrist could easily get the support. He was well-spoken and clearly under control of the hundred-plus person audience. He’s a veteran of the Vietnam War and from a lapel pin I spotted on his suit, a Purple Heart recipient as well. This guy is John Campbell’s nightmare.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore's latest email & editorial


Dear Sir or Madame,

This was forwarded on by a loyal constituent in Assemblyman DeVore's district. He never ceases to amaze me with his energy. He has no problem with unpopularity in Sacramento amongst the unelected bureaucrats.

This latest piece might not only be considered a conservative challenge to the Governor, but also to John Campbell, who is carrying SB 1 for him. While Campbell's trying to convince us of his conservative bona fides (much like John Kerry tried to convince America of his strength on matters of national security by saying he was strong), DeVore is representative of conservatism.

DeVore Op-Ed in OC Register: Solar-power subsidies a costly folly

Governor Schwarzenegger is the right leader at the right time for California. Sometimes he's wrong, however, tax subsidies for solar power is one such time.

Today's O.C. Register ran a piece I wrote about the governor's Million Solar Roofs Initiative. They paired it up with a piece by the Cato Institute's Doug Bandow entitled "The green girlie-man Schwarzenegger's 'solution' to global warming would destroy the economy" (link below).

The solution to a cleaner environment is not to be found in government taxes and subsidies -- rather, technology and the free market have improved and will always improve our environment. Doubt me? Take one look at the former Communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe and the environmental devastation wrought by central planning in the workers' paradise. Then, compare that to America where we produce an extremely high standard of living at one of the most efficient rates of energy consumption per output of Gross Domestic Product of any nation on the planet.

All the best,

Chuck DeVore
State Assemblyman, 70th District

http://www.chuckdevore.com/

Orange County Register

COMMENTARY

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Solar-power subsidies a costly folly
By CHUCK DEVORE
Republican assemblyman from Irvine

Gov. Schwarzenegger is fighting the good fight, so we can forgive him when he occasionally misfires. His "Million Solar Roofs Initiative" to subsidize photovoltaic (PV) systems is one such error.

PV systems convert sunlight into electricity. This is great but for a few problems: the systems are costly; they rarely produce the electricity claimed; and, even with subsidies, PV does not pay for itself.

Senate Bill 1 is the legislative vehicle for the governor's initiative. It passed the state Senate on a 30-5 vote with only Republican opposition. The next stop is the Assembly, then the governor's desk.

California has about 12,000 PV systems producing 93 megawatts (MW) of power. The initiative aims to install 1 million PV systems by 2018 to produce about 3,000 MW (one unit at San Onofre produces 1,100 MW). Because PV costs $9,000 per kilowatt to install, several times the cost of other power sources, it requires what uber- Schwarzenegger economics adviser Milton Friedman would call a free-market-distorting subsidy just to make it attractive.

How much of a subsidy? The plan's supporters predict up to $2.5 billion over 10 years, while one utility estimates $7 billion. This taxpayer support reduces the cost of a typical residential PV installation from $27,000 to $17,205. If the system performed as claimed (a 2004 study showed PV operated at only 39 percent of capacity during peak demand), the residential PV system owner would save $371 a year on his electric bill - less than 2.2 percent of the subsidized cost, making a return on investment impossible.

California's homeowners already pay 55 percent more for their electricity than the national average. California businesses pay 94 percent more. That most endangered of California species - industry - forks out 146 percent more for its electric bill than out-of-state competitors.

The solution to our energy problem is not a million solar roofs. Rather, we should remove the outdated political roadblocks to building more nuclear power plants. Nuclear power is the one source of non-greenhouse emitting energy we Americans can build and fuel ourselves. The San Onofre nuclear power plant alone each year saves 188 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Furthermore, technical advances have made nuclear power much safer. While we don't seem to find much about the French worth emulating, it is of note that nuclear power produces 80 percent of the electricity on France's power grid.

Ironically, if America had not succumbed to the irrational fear of nuclear power over 20 years ago, we would already be meeting our Kyoto Treaty protocols for the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Is it sound public policy to allow a homeowner with a BMW and a Mercedes in his garage the pleasure of assuaging his environmental guilt by wasting $27,000 on a PV system while passing $10,000 of his costs to Juan Q. Public through generous tax breaks and a $15-per-year hike in his electric bill? No. When Democrats representing working-class constituents realize this and link up with Republicans, SB 1 may be stopped in the Assembly.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Free Enterprise Fund PAC Release

Dear Sir or Madame,

This just came in over the wire. It's related to the previous post.

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Contact: Todd Schorle, 202-421-9693

FREE ENTERPRISE FUND PAC: DRAFT ROGAN NOW!

ORANGE COUNTY LEADERS AND FREE ENTERPRISE FUND PAC KICK OFF MOVEMENT TO DRAFT FORMER U.S. REP. JAMES ROGAN FOR CONGRESS

Washington, D.C. – Calling him “the right man at the right time,” Mallory Factor, chairman and president of the Free Enterprise Fund PAC, called Wednesday for former U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan, R-Calif., to “Run Jim, Run!” and join the field of candidates seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Chris Cox, R-Calif., in the 48th Congressional District.

Cox, who has represented the Orange County, Calif.-based district since 1989, is President George W. Bush’s choice to lead the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. He will have to resign from Congress once he is confirmed in the post by the U.S. Senate.

“Jim Rogan would provide the same kind of energetic leadership Chris Cox has afforded the district,” said Thomas A. Fuentes, the chairman emeritus of the Republican Party of Orange County, Calif. “The possibility of a Rogan candidacy will excite conservatives at the grassroots. They should all loudly second the effort to draft him so that he can again put his enormous talent and intellectual ability to work on behalf of the people of California,” Fuentes, who led the county party for 20 years, said.

“Though Cox’s seat is not yet vacant,” Factor said, “the field of candidates seeking to replace him has already changed several times. None of the candidates who have stepped up can hold a candle to Rogan as far as passion for the free enterprise agenda is concerned. At this pivotal time in U.S. history, the people of the 48th Congressional District, the state of California and the nation need the kind of leadership only Rogan can provide. We strongly urge him to make the race.”

Rogan represented California's 27th Congressional District from 1997-2001, serving with distinction as a member of the House Commerce and Judiciary Committees. In 2001, President Bush nominated Rogan to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After a unanimous confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate, Rogan served as Under Secretary from 2001-2004. He now resides in Orange County, California and is a partner with the law firm Venable, LLC.

The Free Enterprise Fund PAC works to elect candidates to federal office who support pro-growth economic policies and the free enterprise system.

"Paid for by Free Enterprise Fund PAC and not Authorized by any Candidate or Candidate's Committee"

www.enterprisepac.org

You can be sure Ackerman's got a wicked grin on his face now. I'm not suggesting he has anything to do with this. It's just gotta be nice to know what goes around, comes around.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Will Jim Rogan run?


Dear Sir or Madame,

I am confident, after hearing and confirming, that heavyweight former Congressman Jim Rogan is still seriously considering a run in the 48th special. He, apparently, met with his old consultant, Jim Nygren, up in Sacramento a few days ago. Nygren's a big consultant out of Sacto, with probably more clients than any other.

A hunting trip? Fishing? What could they have discussed?

So far, Rogan's played a very conservative game with the media, not confirming or denying anything. It's smart. He's being courteous with current Congressman Cox, not shoving him, like others, into the SEC retirement home. He's exercising patience, knowing with enough time he might see the end to Brewer's candidacy and might enjoy a fast-paced late-entry campaign with all the momentum going into election day.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The 48th: Marilyn Brewer is a tool, literally


Dear Sir or Madame,

I'm going to begin a running series of posts prefaced with "The 48th" in order to clearly distinguish those from posts on other issues.

Now onto the post.

If I were a Machiavellian, Dave Gilliard-type, as others have suggested, if I had strategically picked sides between two competing candidates out in the open, if I was consulting for a race in one of the most conservative Republican congressional districts in the whole country, if my client's only serious opponent at this point was a well-known self-described moderate, if I were Senator John Campbell's campaign consultant, what would I want more than anything in the whole world at this point?

I would want Marilyn Brewer to stay in the race.

Why?

Because right now my guy, Campbell, is sitting pretty with the conservative base I need to win this race. He's the furthest right candidate they have. They have to like him. As long as Marilyn stays in the race, all I have to do is make sure the message gets out that any newcomers are spoilers who prop up the moderates. My guy's got so much money, he doesn't even need to ask people to support him before their time comes at the polls.

I'd advise Campbell to not say or do anything too damaging to her from here on into the first special election. As long as she stays in, we win. We could even graciously encourage her candidacy. As the Probolsky poll showed, she's not a threat, so what would be the worry? She's the means to an end.

If Marilyn, at some point, finds the 35th Senate District more attractive, we're done. The wing-nut conservatives out there will throw everything they've got at us. We'll lose.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Senator McClintock's floor speech on the budget


Dear Sir or Madame,

This was delivered to me courtesy of a subscriber to the FlashReport. Once again, the good Senator is impressive.

"We have once again been assured that this is a balanced budget. I remember the same assurances from the same quarters last year and the year before that. They have no credibility.

"Here is what the Legislative Analyst's Office reported on Monday regarding the state's general fund. The LAO estimates that we'll close the current fiscal year having spent $82 billion and received $80 billion, ending that year $2 billion in the red.

"This budget, they estimate, will spend $89 billion and receive $84 billion, ending the budget year an additional $5 billion in the red. You're not even heading in the right direction.

"Three numbers tell you a lot about this budget: 5, 6 and 9. Five percent is the LAO's estimate of combined population and inflation growth next year. Six percent is their estimate of revenue growth. Once again, our revenues substantially exceed inflation and population growth. Once again, this is not a revenue problem.

"Nine percent. That's the problem. That's the growth in state spending in this budget. By means of comparison, the average growth of general fund expenditures during the Davis years was not 9 percent - it was 6 percent. So this is very much in the tradition of the budgets that got us into this mess.

"In fact, it is measurably worse than the budgets that got us into this mess.I would once again remind you of the First Rule of Holes: "When you're in one, stop digging." You folks are digging faster.

"Now how is it that some Senators can even pretend the budget balances? Because of billions of dollars of borrowed money either carried over from last year or new borrowing contemplated in this conference report. But I have news for you: borrowing is not revenue. Borrowing is what happens when you're spending more than your revenue.

"It has been suggested that there is a nefarious effort to hold the budget hostage by forces outside the legislature. What nonsense. Once the Governor places the budget on our desks on January 10th, it ceases to be his budget and it becomes the legislature's budget. When the Governor took office, I warned that the same legislature that got us into this mess was not going to get us back out again. I thank you, my Democratic colleagues, for so effectively backing me up on that.

"One other point. These are issues that the legislature once worked through on its own when the constitutional budget process was honored. But by abandoning that process, the leadership has by-passed all the debates and negotiations and give-and-take that once produced relatively balanced and relatively on-time budgets. The new process is to present a conference report to the legislature for a take-it-or-leave-it vote at the 11th hour with no opportunity for those discussions to take place.

"And the result is another horribly unbalanced budget - measurably worse than the budgets passed during the Davis years that racked up $26 billion of deficit-related general obligation debt - all for our children to enjoy.

"So let's be clear. According to the LAO, their latest estimate of the current year operating deficit is $2 billion. This budget has an operating deficit of $5 billion. While population and inflation will grow 5 percent and revenues will grow 6 percent, spending will grow 9 percent. An AYE vote on this bill endorses a spending plan substantially less balanced than last year's, and growing substantially faster than it grew during the Davis years.

"Bon appetit."

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

An hilarious attempt to "out" me


Dear Sir or Madame,

The following appeared yesterday on another blog I frequent.

"I have read most of his postings on this website and I suspect that Silence is a male, in his early twenties, of average intelligence but considered immature by people who know him. He probably has a hard time maintaining meaningful relationships with members of the opposite sex although because he's somewhat precocious, he might be considered "cute" by older women. He obviously follows politics religiously and probably lies awake nights trying to figure out how to get elected to the State Assembly. He fancies himself a political strategist. While he probably won't admit it, he is deeply jealous of people like Dave Gilliard who actually have paying clients. His current goal is to get an appointment to the Republican State Central Committee before he's 30. His mother loves him but his siblings think he's weird.

"Anonymous postings gives him power, the only power he really has. But, the more he posts, the more we learn about him. Someday he'll be outed!"

Keep trying "Dr. Phil". It's flattering that you have taken such a keen interest in my postings. Could it be I've riled some feathers?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Parks in trouble all over


Dear Sir or Madame,

There's a story in today's Orange County Register explaining a grand jury report on the county's "underfunded" parks system. Here's the link:

County parks are losing ground, grand jury says

From this and stories forwarded along by Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine), it is apparent to me that the environmentalists in California have gotten us all to bite off more than we can chew. Parks cannot pay for themselves. They weren't designed by the limousine leftists to be cash cows. They weren't promoted or allowed to be fully utilized because the aim of their creators was to have preserved land, not conserved land.

Where has that gotten us?

To a time when kids and families really don't have a tremendous interest in seeing our state and county parks. (At least not to the extent they're interested in Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm or Magic Mountain or Sea World.)

To a time when their funds get siphoned from because nobody's aware of the wonders they behold.

It appears like we have arrived at the environmentalist movement's death throws. Outside the academic ivory tower, I am unaware of any young, outspoken or celebrated enviros. They're all old and crusty. They're refusal to allow access to nature and they're creation minus people philosophy is the reason why.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Re: Probolsky Research Poll


Dear Sir or Madame,

Here's the link to the Probolsky Research poll I posted on earlier:

http://www.probolskyresearch.com/June%2015,%202005%20-%20CA%20CD%2048%20Voter%20Survey%20-%20Special%20Election.pdf

Note the absence of Rogan and other potential big names. Though I tip my bonnet to Probolsky for throwing the poll out early to get the pulse, this lacks any other vital signs. The race is still very open.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Orange County Young Republicans endorse Corona for re-election


Dear Sir or Madame,

Apparently, the Orange County Young Republican Federation (OCYR) finally came to its senses Monday night with a re-election endorsement for incumbent Sheriff Mike Corona.

Last month, it was relayed to me that OCYR brought up the issue of endorsements of incumbent District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and incumbent Sheriff Mike Corona for a debate and vote. They endorsed Rackauckas and stalled on Corona.

The debate over endorsing Rackauckas only concluded when members of the group were absolutely assured that Assemblyman Todd Spitzer was out of the race. The vote for Sheriff Corona was stalled, with a few vocal members protesting the organization's support of the incumbent Republican's candidacy (members who, presumably, support Hunt for Sheriff). Those in the opposition failed to mention that Corona's been a big supporter of the organization in the past and the endorsement vote was tabled indefinitely.

Well, it appears that that action aroused Corona consultant, Jon Fleischman, to make an appearance (a rarity, said the guy who passed this on to me). And the meeting concluded far different.

OCYRs made the right choice here politically. Instead of becoming one of those demanding little political groups that squabbles over endorsements like their own is the be-all-end-all, they went ahead pitching their support behind the incumbent Republican candidate. Now OCYR gets in on the ground, with their organization's name splashed on campaign literature from the very beginning, reaching the most people. They preserve their relationship with the Sheriff and Fleischman. And they can begin to focus on grassroots efforts on behalf of the Sheriff, the kind of stuff that really makes the endorsement valuable.

I think this incident represents the first audit of OCYR Chairman Jeff Corless's leadership. He's going to be called upon by other incumbent Republicans who have supported him and OCYR to reciprocate. He's going to have to show them that he and his organization will. Organizations, like OCYR, should have some social aspect to them. But many young political organizations become dominated by socialization. Lets face it, if they want to be considered grassroots political organizations, they exist for really only two purposes: registering new Republicans and turning them out to the polls on election day. All else is window dressing.

Now that the endorsement vote has been cast, let the real support of the Sheriff begin!

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Orange-County Courant plugged at OC Blog


Dear Sir or Madame,

I tip my bonnet to Jubal over at OC Blog for the following post:

"New OC Political Blog

"Frequent commenter Silence Dogood has launched her own blog, Orange-County Courant.

"Silence Dogood was the nom-de-plume employed by a sixteen year old Benjamin Franklin for a series of letters he wrote to the New-England Courant, posing as a young widow. (Franklin used nom-de-plumes so that readers would consider the substance of his writings untainted by whatever opinions they had of Franklin).

"She (I'll go along with the presumption) has already posted some good stuff -- add her to your blog reading list."

http://www.ocblog.net/ocblog/

The publicity is coming quick. Thank you all for reading.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Probolsky Reseach poll finds Campbell enjoying 23 point lead over nearest contender


Dear Sir or Madame,

The story's on the OC Business Journal website today:

http://www.ocbj.com/article.asp?aID=39854939.3010678.1156233.5166386.5705486.744&aID2=88932

Obviously, with only 325 people sampled, in a Congressional District that has nearly half-a-million constituents, this early poll shows that many people are still holding out for other potential candidates to make up their mind. Any support Campbell currently enjoys would be weakened if another, more center-right candidate jumps in.

The fact that 60% of the poll's respondents were decisive is also telling. Make no mistake, this is an affluent, intelligent, well-informed district. They will hear and digest almost anything. And they'll be demanding of the their candidates.

I know Probolsky counts Senator Campbell as a friend, so perhaps that swings the results a little, but Brewer with 8%?! If these numbers are even close to accurate (as I believe they are), she's got to take a serious look at what she's gotten herself into. Maybe Campbell's soon to be vacant Senate seat's looking good, but even there she's facing Baugh (if Eric Hogue is correct). Her New Majority friends better put up the money fast or she'll find her candidacy lacking credibility.

Truth be told, it is still too early to figure out what will become of this area politically. Cox has barely begun to seek confirmation. Too many whatifs still exist in the race for the 48th CD and in the 35th SD. I think we would all do well to wait for that first Senate confirmation hearing to tell how to proceed (I think Rogan's been especially prudent and wise in this regard).

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

David Horowitz on Los Angeles schools


Dear Sir or Madame,

As I mentioned in a previous post, Horowitz wrote of a similar incident in Los Angeles. I was incorrect when I stated 300,000 kids would be held back, the number was 350,000.

Here's the quote, from page 83 of his book How to Beat the Democrats:

"How bad is the inner-city school crisis? In Los Angeles, the school district recently defined the problem. Los Angeles officials had declared their intention to end the practice of 'social promotion,' which lets students who have failed move on to the next grade. But in January 2000, the school district announced it would have to postpone the plan. The reason? A feasibility study showed that if the plan were instituted, officials would have to hold back 350,000 students - half the entire school population [sic]."

And he goes on to explain the union's reaction to the feasibility study:

"Shortly after the school district announcement, the Los Angeles Teachers Union demanded a 21 percent raise for its members. The union leader announced that his members would strike if bonuses were given as rewards to individual teachers who actually raised their students' grades. That would be setting 'teacher against teacher.' That would be competition."

President Bush has boldly challenged failing schools. The enrollment at these schools - I dare say - is predominantly poor, latino, and black. The only opportunity they have to live the life of their dreams is to receive a quality education that constantly challenges their proficiency. They'll never get there if administrators keep demanding teachers sugarcoat performance.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

The Bureaucrats of Santa Ana Unified


Dear Sir or Madame,

Here's the link to an article in today's LA Times, Orange County section:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/orange/la-me-grades15jun15,1,4854657,print.story?coll=la-editions-orange

I don't know about you folks, but when I attended high school it was really - I mean really - hard to receive an 'F' grade. You basically have to fail to show up in addition to failing to do the required course work. And most schools, public and private, K through college, have been dumbing down their classes into therapy sessions. I simply don't know why we should sympathize with administrators over the failure of the "showcase of our future" to learn.

The chief administrators, Principal Esther Jones and Superintendent Al Mijares, asked teachers to augment grades in order to make No Child Left Behind regulations. Sad, very sad. Instead of attempting to aid these students in meritoriously raising their grades, they attempt to commit a fraud against the government by exerting influence over their teachers.

The Times piece mentions that districts, under the law, must raise achievement levels or face sanctions, including the loss of federal funding or the removal of principals and teachers. So, once again, we have a clear example of the bureaucrats running our schools less concerned for their students than for themselves.

Here's a priceless quote the administrators offer in their own defense:

"Everybody is under pressure … and there are severe consequences for schools that do not progress," Mijares said. But, he said, "our work needs to focus on the education of students and not be extremely obsessed with" meeting accountability requirements.

Mr. Mijares: The education of your students is your accountability requirement! Obviously you're failing! And I'm not alone here. Several of the teachers at Saddleback expressed their outrage in the Times story.

I think I remember David Horowitz writing about a similar incident in the Los Angeles Unified School District years ago. Perhaps one of you could dig up the passage and the book. If I'm not mistaken, the district undertook a study of what the ramifications would be for holding back students if they failed to pass a proficiency test to make the next grade level. The study concluded that somewhere in the range of 300,000 kids would have to be held back. And the administrators did everything in their power to bury the program on which the study was based.

Contrast all this with 6,449, the number of degrees being conferred this week from the University of California, Irvine in eight ceremonies. This is the most degrees conferred in one graduation season in the university's history. To all who have not yet learned: in the millenial generation, a bachelor's degree is not enough. High school proficiency and graduation is the absolute minimum.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Re: California's AB 1223


Dear Sir or Madame,

As I mentioned in the comments section on OC Blog, AB 1223 did die in committee. Its premise is sound.

It is my hope that any future legislation dealing with the auto sales issue encompasses all car sales, not just the eco-friendly cars.

Senator Campbell, what say you?

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

From Reason Online Re: Car Sales Regulation Subsidizing Dealerships


Dear Sir or Madame,

I'm posting a link here to a Reason Online article written a while back about the auto dealers' crackdown on internet car sales. From reading the article you see the dealerships' interest in regulation is nothing new.

http://reason.com/0007/fe.dk.traffic.shtml

Senator Campbell would do well to explain why such anti-consumer legislation exists, from a Republican point of view.

I tip my bonnet to Steve from OC Blog for the article find.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

OC Blog's Coverage of John & Ken Interview With Sen. Campbell


Dear Sir or Madame,

I tip my bonnet to the man named "Lurk".

It was interesting to hear Campbell talk about being tough with businesses and withholding corporate subsidies (or fighting them outright).

A good question for John & Ken to ask on "gameday" (Campbell called this a scrimmage) would be: Senator Campbell, the last time you were on our show you talked about your opposition to corporate subsidies and we're gonna be tough with you here this time. Where do you stand on AB 1223 (Leno)?

AB 1223, though written by Leno (a hardcore leftist Democrat who also authored the dead gay marriage bill) is a sensible start for California's consumers to be able to purchase their vehicles straight from the manufacturer. I know the bill stipulates eco-friendly vehicles will be the only cars available for factory-direct purchase, but it opens the possibility for other cars. It certainly jump starts a debate I believe John Campbell should weigh in on.

Car dealers have been taking this "subsidy" from the state for years. I haven't heard Campbell complain about it. They have job security because the law currently prevents Californians from buying direct from the manufacturer.

If car dealers, like John Campbell, have something substantive to add, if they're worth the sales charge, make them prove it by allowing California's car consumers to buy straight from the factory.

Yours in liberty,

SILENCE DOGOOD OC

To the Author of the Orange-County Courant.


Dear Sir or Madame,

It may not be improper in the first Place to inform your Readers, that I intend once a Fortnight to present them, by the Help of this Paper, with a short Epistle, which I presume will add somewhat to their Entertainment.

And since it is observed, that the Generality of People, now a days, are unwilling either to commend or dispraise what they read, until they are in some measure informed who or what the Author of it is, whether he be poor or rich, old or young, a Schollar or a Leather Apron Man, &c. and give their Opinion of the Performance, according to the Knowledge which they have of the Author's Circumstances, it may not be amiss to begin with a short Account of my past Life and present Condition, that the Reader may not be at a Loss to judge whether or no my Lucubrations are worth his reading.

At the time of my Birth, my Parents were on Ship-board in their Way from Los Angeles to San Diego. My Entrance into this troublesome World was attended with the Death of my Father, a Misfortune, which tho' I was not then capable of knowing, I shall never be able to forget; for as he, poor Man, stood upon the Deck rejoycing at my Birth, a merciless Wave entred the Ship, and in one Moment carry'd him beyond Reprieve. Thus was the first Day which I saw, the last that was seen by my Father; and thus was my disconsolate Mother at once made both a Parent and a Widow.

When we arrived at San Diego (which was not long after) I was put to Nurse in a Country Place, at a small Distance from the Town, where I went to School, and past my Infancy and Childhood in Vanity and Idleness, until I was bound out Apprentice, that I might no longer be a Charge to my Indigent Mother, who was put to hard Shifts for a Living.

My Master was a Country Minister, a pious good-natur'd young Man, & a Batchelor: He labour'd with all his Might to instil vertuous and godly Principles into my tender Soul, well knowing that it was the most suitable Time to make deep and lasting Impressions on the Mind, while it was yet untainted with Vice, free and unbiass'd. He endeavour'd that I might be instructed in all that Knowledge and Learning which is necessary for our Sex, and deny'd me no Accomplishment that could possibly be attained in a Country Place; such as all Sorts of Needle-Work, Writing, Arithmetick, &c. and observing that I took a more than ordinary Delight in reading ingenious Books, he gave me the free Use of his Library, which tho' it was but small, yet it was well chose, to inform the Understanding rightly, and enable the Mind to frame great and noble Ideas.

Before I had liv'd quite two Years with this Reverend Gentleman, my indulgent Mother departed this Life, leaving me as it were by my self, having no Relation on Earth within my Knowledge.

I will not abuse your Patience with a tedious Recital of all the frivolous Accidents of my Life, that happened from this Time until I arrived to Years of Discretion, only inform you that I liv'd a chearful Country Life, spending my leisure Time either in some innocent Diversion with the neighbouring Females, or in some shady Retirement, with the best of Company, Books. Thus I past away the Time with a Mixture of Profit and Pleasure, having no Affliction but what was imaginary, and created in my own Fancy; as nothing is more common with us Women, than to be grieving for nothing, when we have nothing else to grieve for.

As I would not engross too much of your Paper at once, I will defer the Remainder of my Story until my next Letter; in the mean time desiring your Readers to exercise their Patience, and bear with my Humours now and then, because I shall trouble them but seldom. I am not insensible of the Impossibility of pleasing all, but I would not willingly displease any; and for those who will take Offence where none is intended, they are beneath the Notice of

Your Humble Servant,
SILENCE DOGOOD OC.