Orange Juice: Issa opts for Schwarzenegger

By: Art Pedroza

The great recall debate is over and the winner is: the audience. None of the candidates rose above the rest, although State Senator Tom McClintock continued to be earnest and on the mark – but those weird bulging/piercing eyes of his drive me nuts! He looks like the angry, but patriotic, eagle puppet character from the “Muppet Show.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger provided the highlights of the evening every time he crossed swords with Arianna Huffington, and Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante was his usual smarmy condescending self. Is it just me or does that dopey smile of his remind you of the “Cheshire Cat” from Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” animated feature?

Camejo? He is not a factor, and neither he nor Huffington have enough support to warrant their presence at these debates. An interesting aside – Camejo and Huffington love to pick on the wealthy – but they are both quite well off. The only guy on that stage, besides perhaps the moderator, who could make no claim to being rich, was the most conservative candidate, McClintock.

In this edition of Orange County’s own analysis of Republican Party politics, we will look – again – at the recall and some of the local primary battles.

In this Issue:

1. The McClintock v. Schwarzenegger battle continues

2. Taking the Republican message to the airwaves

3. Maddox Madness: Two more GOP Assemblymen turn to the dark side

4. More from DeVore

5. Citizens against Violent Crime open house

6. Sanchez weighs in on Homeland Security – God help us!

7. Challenges abound in the 73rd Assembly District

8. Leyes rebuked in Garden Grove

The McClintock v. Schwarzenegger battle continues

You cannot escape recall politics at the moment. I went shopping late one night, last week, at my local Ralph’s supermarket, and sure enough a McClintock fan was holding forth in the middle of the bread section as two middle-aged women paid him rapt attention. “McClintock is against amnesty,” said the burly, and hairy, McClintock follower. The two women nodded their heads in agreement. I couldn’t help adding as I walked by, “Bustamante might win if McClintock stays in it.” That of course set the poor fellow off in a rage against immigrants, and he only barely paused when he noticed that I had my little boy with me – not the fair one but the one with a perpetual nice tan. My son barely noticed as his eyes were on the cookies next to the bread section.

My heart continues to be with McClintock, but you have to wonder about his presence in the recall campaign, given today’s announcements that both Bill Simon and U.S. Representative Darrell Issa are endorsing Schwarzenegger. I would expect that Pete Ueberroth will also step up to the plate soon and join up with Schwarzenegger.

This miserable battle between Republicans reminds me of the Biblical tale of King Solomon who advised two women fighting over a baby to just cut it in half. Of course the real mother did not wish to do that, but the other one thought it was a good idea. I would like to think that neither side in the GOP wants to come out of this with half a baby – or with a Governor Bustamante in charge.

My friends on the right, including Orange County Supervisors Chris Norby and Bill Campbell, continue to prop up McClintock, in the name of principle, which is admirable. However, was it principled for McClintock to accept essentially dirty money from the gambling Indian tribes? I think that gambling is an unhealthy activity at best, and a dangerously addictive one for many. If I were I running for office I would not want anything to do with such money. Even worse, McClintock is taking the money with the full knowledge that it is being given to him not because the tribes think he is a worthy candidate, but rather because they want him to play the part of the spoiler. Their real goal is to keep Schwarzenegger out of office. Talk about your thirty pieces of silver.

I have come to believe that we must do whatever it takes to stop Bustamante. We have seen in recent weeks the passage of SB 60, authorizing drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants, and now the Democrats in our State Legislature have approved a bill granting FREE community college to these same people. What are these legislators smoking? I can see giving a discount or something to those who fall under a certain income level, but just doing so for those who are flouting our immigration laws is insane.

With all that in mind, I have decided to vote for Schwarzenegger. I am in fact mailing in my absentee ballot tomorrow. I plan to also vote in the affirmative for Prop. 54. Yes, I know that Schwarzenegger is not supporting Ward Connerly’s initiative. I can live with that. At least Connerly is getting my vote, and my wife’s.

By the way, in my last issue, I jumped the gun and wrote that State Assemblyman Ray Haynes is supporting Schwarzenegger. He tells me that he is, like me, waiting to see who is ahead as we get closer to the day or reckoning.

Someone who is not hesitating to take sides in the recall election is retired State Assemblyman Jim Morrissey, whose defeat by Democrat Lou Correa marked the end of GOP representation in the 69th Assembly District, quite possibly for the next generation. Morrissey has been debating the recall in a regular feature in the Orange County Register with noted retired Democrat legislator Tom Umberg taking the opposing viewpoint. So far Umberg has been soundly thrashing Morrissey, at least from my perspective. Couldn’t the Register find someone more eloquent than Morrissey to represent the pro-Arnold side? Frankly, it is embarrassing to see Umberg out-reason Morrissey on a regular basis. Where is Hugh Hewitt when you need him?

Taking the Republican message to the airwaves

I addressed the drivers’ license issue, as well as the recall campaign, for an entire hour recently on the Michael Dresser show, which originates out of Anchorage, Alaska and is heard throughout much of the country, including key markets such as Atlanta and Las Vegas. You can hear the archived show online at

I also spent a half hour on a station that caters to Vietnamese-Americans, out of Garden Grove. Thanks to radio host Maily Nguyen for setting that up. Nguyen is one of the hardest working Republican volunteers I have ever met. Lately she has been spending all of her time on the recall and the Schwarzenegger campaign.

Maddox Madness: Two more GOP Assemblymen turn to the dark side

Well, State Assemblyman Ken Maddox (R-Garden Grove) is no longer the only Republican State Legislator that I have to keep an eye on, at least when it comes to bills involving labor unions. He was recently joined by Tony Strickland and Abel Maldonado in voting to establish a Labor Compliance Program (LCP) for the proposed high speed rail project and establish that it is the intent of state law to apply prevailing wage to all public works projects, thus creating legislative language to back the Department of Industrial Relations position in Long Beach v. DIR to deprive charter cities of the right to exempt municipal projects from prevailing wage.

When will Republican elected officials learn that pandering to labor unions is not good for their future, or ours? Strickland wants us to support him in his bid for the U.S. Senate. Who is he kidding? I would sooner vote for a third party candidate than a sell-out to the unions. Fortunately we have other choices in former California State Secretary Bill Jones and immediate past U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin.

Maddox was also the only Republican Legislator to vote for the gutted and amended SB 868. Sponsored by the Laborers union, this bill will increase the costs of public works projects and allow unions to harass and undercut non-union contractors at the expense of the public. SB 868 includes these labor compliance program fees, collective bargaining agreement fees, and job targeting fees as part of the calculation for prevailing wage. Non-union contractors will have to pay higher wages so that union companies aren’t put at a competitive disadvantage by the fees they have to pay to the unions. And unions can demand these fees in future collective bargaining agreements to be much higher than they are now, because they will just be incorporated into prevailing wage calculations. How is any of this good for us Maddox?

One more Maddox Madness item – and this one is pretty funny. Mark Bucher, a longtime Orange County Republican activist, asked Maddox, at the last Orange County Republican Party Central Committee meeting, whether he had in fact supported the Orange County Project Labor Agreement (PLA) which barred non-union contractors from bidding on county public works. Maddox answered in the affirmative, and claimed that it might have been a mistake. He did not inform the audience about his position on other PLAs. Needless to say, Maddox did not score any points at that meeting. It is now clearer than ever that his opponent for the State Senate, Assemblyman John Campbell, is the only choice for Republican voters.

More from DeVore

Chuck DeVore, a businessman running for the 70th State Assembly District, might be the most active Republican legislative candidate, at least when it comes to his email press releases. He has been merciless in his attacks of late against one of his many opponents, businesswoman Cristi Cristich. One of his weirdest recent releases touts the fact that he was invited to serve as a model at a Republican Club of Leisure World event, and Cristich was not. I guess recall candidate Mary Carey wasn’t available.

Citizens against Violent Crime open house

The Santa Ana based non-profit organization Citizens against Violent Crime hosted an open house at their new digs this past Saturday. Arianna Huffington called. A total of about 75 people visited. A Kissinger or a sort showed up, but not the one we are familiar with. Instead it was the not-so-esteemed D.E. Kessinger, a candidate for Governor in the recall election.

This particular organization is trying to change the three strikes law so only violent offenses will count as third strikes. They have now taken my advice and are including tougher penalties for child molestation in their proposal. I was however seeking a one strike (life) sentence for any such molestation, but they are going for a 25 to life sentence upon the second such indictment.

Interestingly, those supporting the CAVC’s reform attempts include conservative third party candidate for Governor Diane Templin, and former Green Party legislator Audie Bock, who is also running for Governor (

Sanchez weighs in on Homeland Security – God help us!

Here’s an item that will boggle your mind. U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana) somehow managed to get a post on the Select Committee on Homeland Security – despite the fact that she is a big supporter of illegal immigration. Sanchez, who will never be mistaken for a mental heavyweight, will no doubt prove to be the “Arianna Huffington” of this committee.

Thanks to Dr. Alexandria Coronado for that item! Coronado is of course running against Sanchez for the 47th Congressional District. Go Alex!

Challenges abound in the 73rd Assembly District

Jim Gibson, a conservative school board member vying for the 73rd Assembly District, recently challenged the other Republican candidates to sign the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” The other candidates promptly ignored him, as I have not seen any response.

However, one of those opponents, Laguna Niguel City Councilwoman Mimi Walters, in turn challenged yet another opponent, Orange County Supervisor Tom Wilson, to reverse his position on the boondoggle that is the OCTA’s CenterLine project. He should do that, particularly since the U.S. House of Representatives recently took the money that was budgeted for this project out of their Appropriations Bill. Will that finally kill CenterLine? We can only hope.

Leyes rebuked in Garden Grove

What is it with Republicans in Garden Grove? Bad enough that they are represented in the State Assembly by Ken Maddox, now we find out that Garden Grove City Councilman Mark Leyes, who is opposing his peer on the council Van Tran for the right to take Maddox’ assembly seat, is upset about local GOP efforts to register Vietnamese Americans to vote. Leyes actually is purporting that these efforts are resulting in more Democrat registrations than GOP registrations. Methinks that Leyes is trying to stop his Vietnamese American opponent, Tran, with this ridiculous notion. Please. Leyes is a former Democrat, while Tran has been a GOP loyalist his whole life. Whom do you trust?

That’s it for this issue. I’ll try to get the next one out on time! As always you can read this column online at

Our Sponsors:

Find Kevin a Job! Earn $200 if you can find Kevin Mireles a new job. For details go to

For just pennies a day, you can protect you and your family’s legal rights. To see how a Pre-Paid Legal plan can benefit you, go to, or email Augustine G. Salacup at

Running for office? Don’t waste your money on staff – go to and find out how we can help you file your campaign finance reports, maintain a donor and volunteer database, and raise money – all from your keyboard.

Interested in sponsoring this newsletter? Send all inquiries to

Author’s Bio: Art Pedroza became involved in local politics in 1996, when he was tabbed to serve as the inaugural Hispanic Outreach Director for the Republican Party of Orange County. Pedroza has served as a city commissioner in Santa Ana, and on the Central Committee for both the local GOP and the California Republican Party. He currently represents the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, in Orange County.

About Art Pedroza