Get free daily email updates

Syndicate this site - RSS

Recent Posts

Blogger Menu

Click here to blog

Ray Haynes

Lessons From History: The Recall is Good, But Not a Cure-All

No one deserves to lose their job more than our Arrogant Lazy Authoritarian in Chief (ALAIC) Gavin Newsom. ALAIC Newsom personifies all that is wrong with a government gone wild. He doesn’t respect the individual, cares little about freedom or the Constitution, believes that government, and the people that run it, are imbued with some special knowledge that allows them to control individual behavior in any way the government wants. He believes he is smarter than the rest of us, and, for that reason, he can do what he wants while we have to follow his orders. That is why he so richly deserves the title (ALAIC) he has worked hard to earn. He is arrogant, he is lazy, and he is an authoritarian. He should lose his job, and we should help him do that. That is why the recall that looks like it is going to get on the ballot should succeed.

But to my conservative friends, I offer a warning. Recalls are not a cure all. I point back to the last one, that led to Arnold Schwarzenegger being Governor. I was involved in that effort from the beginning, when I spoke at the rally on the Capitol steps in February of 2003, to the early planning stages in February and March of 2003, through the signature gathering process. I flew around the state with Darrell Issa as he prepared to run for Governor, while he financing the signature collection process. It was a near perfect effort. Everything worked exactly right, from the beginning to the announcement by then Secretary of State Kevin Shelley that the petition was qualified. Then it went to hell. Schwarzenegger hijacked the effort, jumping in front of the parade conservatives created. I supported Schwarzenegger, probably one of the biggest mistakes of my time in politics, because I believed that, since conservatives started the effort, we had to win it. If we started it, and then handed it over to then Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, that would destroy the conservative movement. As much as I loved Tom McClintock, and believed he would make a great Governor, I thought he couldn’t win, and if he handed the race to Bustamante, conservatism in California would never recover.

We won the effort, elected Arnold Schwarzenegger, and then Schwarzenegger went about the project of destroying the Republican Party in California.

It was not all his fault. Democrats still controlled the Legislature, and he started to fight them, but in 2005, after he lost the special election called to deal with his initiatives, he capitulated. After his first budget, which had the smallest growth in government in the history of the state, he gave up, and began a spending spree rivaled only by the spree started by Gray Davis that led to the Davis recall. The Democrats in the Legislature laid the responsibility for this growth at Schwarzenegger’s feet, even though they caused it, and, in true form, blamed Republicans for all the problems that followed. Republicans have still not recovered from the damage that did.

That is the lesson to learn. First, I believe if the recall gets on the ballot, it will win. Second, assuming we are smart enough to get a Republican elected, that Republican will face a “veto-proof” Democrat majority in the Legislature. Third, the redistricting that is about to occur will only solidify the Democrats control of the Legislature. The so-called “Independent Redistricting Commission” is staffed by left wing Democrats appointed by the left wing Secretary of State, and controlled by Democrats. It will not be a fair “bi-partisan” redistricting plan (all one need do is look at the 2011 plan), and getting a majority in the Legislature after the recall will be close to impossible. That means whoever is Governor, if that person is a Republican, will face impossible odds, not just this year, but in the next decade.

My point is the recall will only be a beginning. It will give state Republicans hope, but it will require follow through. It will not be easy. Legislative Republicans need to know that their effort at a California Renaissance will not end with the recall, it will then just be starting in earnest. They will have to think outside the box. They will have to get outside their district to spread the word about why Republican values are better for all Californians. They will have to start working. It won’t be done with press releases, tweets or Facebook posts. It will be accomplished by visiting people neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city, county by county, outside their district, across the state. It will only happen with hard work. Sending out messages from their capitol offices won’t do it. It has to be face to face (unmasked) around the state.

My experience with the last recall caused me to think hard about joining this one. That recall ended up electing the wrong Governor, and ended up hurting the cause I believe in when that Governor abandoned conservative principles. We can avoid that outcome in this recall if we learn the lessons from the last. As conservatives, we need to prove ourselves worthy of the support of the people of the state of California. That will take work, lots of hard, unpleasant work. That work is worth it, but it MUST be done.

Let’s get to it.