Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, Republican of Irvine, is running for Senate in the hopes of challenging and defeating Senator Barbara Boxer (Dunce-California) in November 2010. He's gotten off to an early start, but he needs it, because he's definitely an underdog. California has not elected a Republican Senator since Pete Wilson in 1986, nor have we elected a pro-life politician to a statewide office since Attorney General Dan Lungren won in 1994, and before that the re-election of Governor George Deukmejian in 1986. It's been a long time.
Chuck DeVore has a plan, though. During a conference call today with online activists and 'bloggers,' which your reporter was able to listen in on, he said that he's consciously attempting to mimic the successful strategies followed by Barack Obama in his underdog victory over Hillary Clinton last year. He intends to use the Internet and the grass roots to get more done than Republicans in his position have in the past.
He's ready on the issues, too, and not just the tools of politics.
Today in California we vote on a slate of budget measures foisted on us by the Democrats and a few wayward Republicans. Assemblyman DeVore has been active in opposing them, even having his own website to oppose Proposition 1A and the rest. Today he pointed out that we face about a 23 billion dollar deficit on an approximately 90 billion dollar general fund. This is ridiculous.
He was ignored for years when he stood up in the Senate and the Assembly to oppose runaway spending. Now he's been proven correct, but we all pay the price for the Democrats failure to lead. What we face in Sacramento is a microcosm, he said, of what's going on in Washington. The only difference is that we in California can't print our own money.
Should 1A fail, DeVore thinks we'll face one of two actions by the Democrats. One option would be to cut popular government programs like police, fire, medical, and schools, hoping to burn down the state and blame it on Republicans. The other would be to pass an illegal tax increase with only a simple majority instead of the Constitutionally-required two-thirds majority. Either option will devastate our already-lagging state economy. The Assemblyman thinks we'll be the second-last state to recover from this economic slowdown (I assume the last being Michigan under its equally-horrible Democrat Governor Granholm).
And of course, Senator Boxer governs exactly the same way as the Democrats who spent our way into disaster in Sacramento. She's beholden to the same unions, she votes for the same priorities, and she has the same tax-and-spend mentality. The "stimulus" has done no more for our declining employment situation than the state spending has. Boxer and the Democrats never want to renegotiate with unions, or review benefits, or close redundant or unnecessary government programs, DeVore pointed out.
Assemblyman DeVore also mentioned that green left issues are making the job and budget situations even worse. We could create jobs slant drilling for oil right here, right now in state waters, and President Obama could do nothing about it. By slant drilling from the coast, we avoid putting unsightly rigs into the ocean. By pumping out the billion-plus barrels of oil from state waters, we would also bring in billions to help balance the budget on top of increasing economic activity and bringing in more tax revenue all around. Senator Boxer and the green left-beholden Democrats oppose it.
We could build 'modern' nuclear plants, with safety features that make meltdown impossible. These zero-emissions plants would be the backbone of any electric car efforts, would be able to replace coal, oil, and natural-gas fired plants, and would further help us achieve energy independence. Senator Boxer and the Democrats oppose it, without a single Democrat in Sacramento voting for DeVore's state nuclear bills.
Right now, plenty of union jobs and productive farms are at risk in central California because a federal judge has blocked the use of water pumps needed to get water to that part of the state. Paul Rodriguez, long time Democratic supporter of big name leftists like former Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, has founded the California Latino Water Coalition to attack the problem. However the Democrats won't even return his calls. He's having to go to Republicans, and conservatives in particular, even to be heard on this issue, let alone to get any support.
Chuck DeVore hopes that by being firm and right on the issues, by supporting policies that would allow hard-working Californians to get honest jobs in this state, that he'll be able to reach out to communities like this that haven't necessarily thought about voting Republican in the past.
He also hopes his background will help him connect with potential new Republican voters. As an Army National Guard veteran, retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the ANG, DeVore served with a diverse cross-section of Californians. And before that, before he received his ROTC scholarship, he was a dues-paying AFL-CIO member. He's worked with his hands, he says, and he intends to reach out to Californians who do the same.
Combine these opportunities with the Tea Party movement of conservatives, which is being compared with the Proposition 13 tax revolt of 1978, and the Assemblyman thinks he has a chance. I wish him luck and hope I can help, as well as hope other conservatives can help as well. We talk about wanting to run conservatives to get out there and make the case. Here's our chance to shine.