Category Archives: politics

Empty Resolutions for Symbolism

The anti-war movement is in full swing especially with the resolutions against the war that failed in the city Los Angeles. However the machinery of war has already began. I would like to explain why these reasons are futile especially in the Inland Valley. Our federal legislators are Republican except for Joe Baca in Rialto and they would not change their position even if all ten thousand plus students of our campus came to their offices to raise hell with them. UC Riverside is a liberal oasis in a conservative town and the constituents of Ken Calvert’s district are more Republican and obviously more of a proponent of the ideas and practices of our president and the Republican dominated congress.

Resolutions are merely symbolic, they have little power to change hearts and minds of those people who make the decisions that affect the Middle Eastern crisis. I would rather have ASUCR concentrate on issues of parking, quality of food on campus, book store operations than issues that did not have importance than issues that they have very little power of. The energies should be focused primarily on legislators who speak for the side against the war, not in the territory that is a proponent for the war. For those students who are living on campus, but have residences elsewhere they should find out if a Democratic legislator represents them back at home and they should contact them to become more active for their cause.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss mentions that he does not support either resolution because resolutions for or against the war are not relevant towards the business of the city. We have much more pressing issues despite where we live in the United States. Soldiers and their equipment have been delivered to the Middle East for the last month and it would be very pointless to send the troops home because they have been trained for action ready to serve in conflict. Despite how each of us may define if the war on Iraq is just, the Just War Theory can manipulated either for a pro or con position. We need to focus on improving our economy by providing jobs and opportunity, protecting our cities and people from external or internal threats.

Recalling Davis a Risky Impediment

By Matt Munson – Originally Published in the UC Riverside Highlander March 4th 2003

Last month the boards of the American Independent, Libertarian and Republican Party agree on one individual principle that Governor Davis should be removed from office. The opponents of a recall believe that our governor is dually elected and he should serve his time in office, while the proponents believe that our governor has committed so much fiscal errors that he nearly crippled our state government.

However, the Republican Party failed to offer a suitable candidate to beat Governor Davis during the November 2002 elections. If we only had a Republican nominee that would have had the confidence of the voters of the entire state, we may have had different leadership governing us today. The progressive reforms of Hiram Johnson give us the tools to remove negligent government officials and replace them with someone who truly represents the Californian voter. The problem with using the recall may portray the Republican Party however marginal even more irrelevant.

Notable Republicans including Assemblyman Dave Cox of Sacramento believe that a recall is merely a distraction towards the work the party needs to do such as working to construct alternatives to the Democratic Party’s budget plans. I agree with Assemblyman Cox that the recall should not be on the ballot, but if it does get on the ballot I will definitely remove our governor from leading our state. Recall is merely a gamble that may drain necessary funds from a party that is a half a million in the red. There are higher priorities of importance for the Republican Party in 2004. Defeating United States Senator Boxer and the long shot campaign to win California’s 55 electoral votes for the president should be of higher importance for the party in planning their upcoming political strategy.

Due to the low voter turnout, the requirements to recall the Governor has been easier to obtain despite the 12 percent requirement of the last vote for that respective office which is approximate to 900 thousand votes. Two proponents are organizing the campaign to recall the governor, People’s Advocate that helped to get Proposition 13 and a group organized by former Assemblyman Kaloogian of San Diego. However, People’s Advocate is the proponent who is quiet while Kaloogian’s group is the most vocal out of the bunch. Proponents must receive the necessary signatures within 160 days for an election that will be placed on the ballot during late summer if successful.

The charges filed against the governor are about how we were deceived on the condition of the state budget so the voters would not know how bad of shape our budget is. How our governor made our energy situation worse by implementing red tape in construction of electricity plants and implementing price caps that constrained the supply of energy. Gray Davis made many people unhappy including the Democratic dominated California Teachers Association where the governor has stalled the agenda of the union.

Governor Davis cannot be everything to everyone however, he will remain as the governor who came up as a prince and left as a disgraced fool. Nevertheless, I support our Governor crashing our state until it crumbles so in the future the Democratic Party would become irrelevant like the Republicans of today. Not rushing to a recall may benefit California in the end where they will realize voting for Democrats in general is not a wise move.

Simon’s failure endemic of state GOP’s woes

Originally Published November 11, 2002 – UCR Highlander

One of the several columns I wrote for the college paper during my tenure as a student at UC Riverside where I graduated with a BA in Political Science in ‘03.

The California Republican Party is in a time of crisis after election day. The base was more motivated this year, but the swing voters were motivated to vote for incumbents and the Democratic Party as a whole.

Bill Simon came out in a stealth campaign in the March primary. Many observers expected former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan to easily win the Republican gubernatorial primary, but Simon motivated the fringe of the GOP to pull for him in a low voter turnout election. Gray Davis is still unpopular according to opinion polls; he never received higher than a 45 percent job approval rating this year.

Voters wanted better candidates this election cycle. Many Democrats and independents wanted to vote for Riordan, the man that Bush operative Karl Rove wanted to win the state for the president. Instead, thanks in large part to a Davis-funded $10 million hit campaign on Riordan before the March primary, the state GOP fielded a novice candidate who was running against a thirty-year plus veteran of politics. What did Bill Simon do right this election cycle?

Compared to 1998 Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren, Bill Simon got the base out to vote for him. The base is composed of the dedicated activists who are the lifeblood of its party. Simon got the values crowd, the gun rights people and the conservatives to come out for him. What did Bill Simon do so wrong that caused him to lose this year?

Simon first had the income tax scandal; Gray Davis pressured Simon to release his tax forms to see if Simon was hiding anything. Then, Simon had a lawsuit against him with one of his business dealings for $78 million in July that made voters think that Simon was an inept executive.

Even though the lawsuit was overturned, people still thought of that verdict. The recent stories on corporate fraud and greed made it a bad time for people in business to run for office because of the downturn in the economy. Political candidates know that in campaigning the first to define his or her opponent has an advantage in keeping that picture in the minds of voters until the election.

Bill Simon also alienated his base by trying to outreach to swing voters with the California Log Cabin Republicans, an organization of gay and lesbian Republicans and their allies.

The Log Cabin Republicans sent Bill Simon the group’s questionnaire, and Simon surprisingly said that he would sign a proclamation for Gay Pride Day and support domestic partner benefits. The news of this development infuriated the values community from Lou Sheldon to Randy Thomasson, and the base was devastated. Bill Simon then decided to close his bridge to the moderates and swing voters by disavowing that he ever did sign that questionnaire. Bill Simon had a chance to reach out to a wide audience, but he was stuck with his political bedfellows for times of good and bad.

A strategy that could help California Republicans in 2006 is examining how Linda Lingle, Mitt Romney and George Pataki won their respective gubernatorial elections in Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York, respectively.

These individuals courted everyone that made up their party and reached out to the other side to achieve victory in their states. Courting voters that want to ban abortion, legalize discrimination against homosexuals and own firearms without restrictions may bring hardcore members of the GOP to the polls, but it certainly does not enhance the turnout of independents and weak partisans. The idea of “Inclusion Wins” is only the first step towards Republican victory, but the next step is to also carry on the good fight.

Voters want substance, they do not want to hear the typical sound byte platitudes. California may be facing a horrific budget deficit, but there was no good argument to elect Bill Simon even though Gray Davis was the culprit of many of these financial troubles. Let the Democrats implode on their own problems.