Janice Rutherford for San Bernardino County Supervisor
6-4-2010 7:20 am
This Tuesday many voters in San Bernardino County will have the opportunity to do something that I will not get to do -- and that is cast a vote for my long time friend and fellow conservative leader Janice Rutherford (pictured) as she seeks election to a seat on the Board of Supervisors. I have know Janice for over twenty five years, and let me assure you that she would be an outstanding Supervisor. Of course Janice, never one to do things the easy way, has decided to run against an eight year incumbent.
Janice and I have a friendship that goes back to our high school days where we both "cut our teeth" in the Junior Statesmen of America, the nation's leading non-partisan, high-school level organization all about politics and government. We both still give back today, she as a Director and me as a Trustee, of this great group.
In the decades that I have had the privilege to both be friends with Janice, and to work with her towards promoting conservative advances locally and around California, I have come to know her as someone who is not a talker, but a doer. She is someone who not only thinks strategically, but is someone who takes those ideas and implements them, well. Currently Janice serves as a member of the City Council in Fontana, and for many years now she has worked as an aide to first Bill Leonard (as a state legislator and as a member of the Board of Equalization) and now she serves in that capacity to Leonard's successor, acting BOE Member Barbara Alby.
Now more than ever, we are seeing a need for strong, ethical Republican leaders to rise up and take on even higher leadership roles in public office. FlashReport readers who live very far from San Bernardino County have been treated to the hundreds of newspaper headlines adorning our site's main page highlighting the scandal and corruption that appears to be rampant in San Bernardino County government. I can think of no better warrior for the cause to send to help right the ship of state in her county than Janice Rutherford.
I mentioned that Janice was seeking to replace an incumbent who is seeking re-election -- his name is Paul Biane. While I am not personally close with Biane, I have certainly found him to be personable. We got to spend some time chatting at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.
If I had to make two comments about Biane -- the first would be that I recall how very disappointed I was when he was unwilling to stand tall against the terrible 2009 state budget deal which included the largest tax increase in state history. To be more specific, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors agendized the sending of a letter to the San Bernardino county legislative delegation opposing tax increases as part of a budget deal. It was passed (and sent) on a 3-2, with Biane along with the Board's lone Democrat voting to oppose sending it. (I have attached the letter below -- you can read it for yourself, and try to figure out why Biane specifically voted "no" on sending it.)
The other comment is that the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has been embroiled in issues of questionable ethical conduct, with several investigations taking place, and a political environment so clouded that a local GOP legislator is actually carrying legislation to allow the county to create an additional citizen grand jury -- because one isn't enough. While it remains to be seen whether he committed any wrong-doing, Biane is certainly in the "thick of it" -- and it probably wouldn't be a bad thing for the "winds of change" to give Biane a little break from public service.
That said, let me be clear, my endorsement of Janice Rutherford is less about her opponent, and more about the unique opportunity for San Bernardino County voters (well, a fifth of them) to elect to office someone who would really serve them well.
By way of politics, Biane is facing four opponents of whom Janice is the most serious, and most well-funded (she out-raised Biane in the last reporting period). Biane is spending a lot of money to try and close out his election next week -- and for good reason. If a sitting incumbent Supervisor is forced into a runoff, a very rare occurence, it means all of the momentum is with the challenger...
In closing, I am pleased to present this column from my friend Janice Rutherford. It is my hope that you will read it, and if you are inspired to do so, go to her campaign website here and help her out with a donation or an offer (if you are local) to help her to get out the vote.
Good luck, Janice!
CHARACTER DOES MATTER
Fontana City Councilwoman & Candidate for Supervisor
Pundits offer a lot of excuses for GOP losses in the past two elections. But the truth is we lost because Republicans stopped being Republicans; and because they tolerated corruption and bad behavior - allowing the Democrats to hang the "culture of corruption" label on our Party.
To move forward and win elections, we need to focus on solutions and clean up our own house.
I believe most elected officials are genuinely honest representatives. Even those we disagree with on issues are generally trying to do what they believe is best. But not all of them - and we've seen examples locally and nationally of those who have used their office to enrich themselves or their allies.
Republicans are right on the issues and about what is needed to solve the problems locally and nationally. We don't have to give up our principles to win; in fact, giving up our principles would assure liberals a permanent victory. Instead we must better articulate our solutions to the problems facing our nation, our state and our county. And we cannot tolerate corruption - ever.
Loyalty is something I value highly. But standing by and allowing corruption has nothing to do with loyalty - in fact, it's a betrayal of our values and the voters who trust us to do what is right.
I'm not talking about becoming "character cops," and we have already seen that desperate politicians and liberal groups will attempt to smear competitors with baseless accusation. But when it becomes clear that a candidate or elected official has betrayed the trust of his or her office, we cannot afford to just look the other way.
For years I worked for a man who exemplifies the honorable, honest and hard-working representative - Bill Leonard. We would all do well to emulate Bill's dignified example.
Eliminating corruption can't be the only issue for Republicans, but if we demonstrate that we won't tolerate it from members of our own party, we'll gain credibility with voters and begin the hard work of correcting the direction of our communities and our nation.
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Letter From Supes Opposing 2009 Budget Deal