Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 3, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 3, 2012 

HOWARD Hays As I See It 


Political theatre sells advertising, so it’s 
no surprise that media coverage of the 
Michigan and Arizona primaries focuses 
on the Republican intra-party battle and 
the wounds each candidate is inflicting on 
the others. Come November, however, these 
squabbles will be consigned to the history 
channel and the great debate over our future 
will take center stage.

Primary coverage paints a picture of 
irresponsible siblings fighting with one 
another. Sadly, the results from last Tuesday 
were not conclusive, although Romney 
now seems to have a somewhat significant 
competitive edge, but the squabbling 
has many Republican voters still wary of 
Romney. They seem to doubt whether 
he’s true to conservative principles, and 
this showed most dramatically among Tea 

Candidate Romney is going to have to shore 
up support among this critical component 
of the electorate, not because they represent 
the conservative base, but because they are 
the most vocal and visible manifestation of 
the deep resentment most “independents” 
feel toward President Obama’s policies and 
hard-left-leaning vision for America. These 
independents and these Tea Partiers are 
looking for the candidate who will truly 
deliver on the promises of fiscal restraint 
and a secure future – themes that candidate 
Obama espoused in the last election but 
abandoned in office.

Obama doesn’t have these voters now, 
and they should be an easy win for any 
Republican. The fact is that on every major 
issue the real disagreements among the 
Republican candidates are over style and 
tone, not real policy differences. With the 
exception of Ron Paul, whom nobody is 
seriously considering as a challenge at this 
point, the following are principles which any 
of the Republican candidates would endorse 
and every independent would embrace.

1. The size of government and the debt ($15 
trillion) are too damn high. This President 
wants to increase both. 
Any Republican would 
reduce them both.

2. This President lost 
our AAA credit rating 
and doesn’t even care. 
Any Republican would 
take steps to restore it.

3. Real unemployment 
stands at 15%. This 
President’s policies have done nothing to 
significantly reduce unemployment. Any 
Republican would loosen the reins on 
American business and put millions back to 

4. Obamacare promises to increase the 
cost of healthcare and eliminate a patient’s 
ability to make decisions about their own 
healthcare. Instead, a government panel 
will decide what care is provided. Any 
Republican would repeal this monstrosity.

5. Medicare and Social Security cannot meet 
their obligations. This President refuses to 
even touch the issue. Any Republican would 
put these programs on sound footing.

6. This President is on record saying he 
supports higher gas prices (his energy 
secretary wants $8/gallon, like Europe). 
Any Republican would allow more domestic 
production and bring down the price of 

7. This President dismisses America’s unique 
role in the world, apologizes for our past and 
is willing to let the Iranians to get the bomb. 
No Republican would do this.

It seems trite at this point to claim that 
2012 will be the most important election 
of our lifetime, but it’s true. It’s a choice 
between squandering America’s greatness 
and restoring that greatness. Principles any 
Republican or independent will support.

Gregory J. Welborn is an independent opinion 
columnist. He writes and speaks frequently 
on political, economic and social issues. His 
columns have appeared in publications such 
as The Los Angeles Daily News, The Orange 
County Register, The Wall Street Journal and 
USA Today. He can be reached at gwelborn@

Senator Carol Liu

California State Senate, 21st Dist.

Sacramento, CA

Dear Sen. Liu;

I wanted to follow up on our brief conversation last week. Hope you 
don’t mind this appearing as an “open letter”, but with the approaching 
deadline for my weekly column, I thought I’d get both out of the way.

Most are aware of redrawn legislative districts and the new “open primary” 
procedures. It wasn’t until last week’s meeting of the Foothill 
Community Democrats, though, that the reality sunk in that come June 5, here in Sierra 
Madre we’ll be given ballots with unfamiliar names of those wanting to represent us, final 
selections will be made in November, and in January Sierra Madre will have new representation 
both in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C.

Whether or not the individuals who spoke at the meeting will ultimately prevail on Election 
Day, I’m confident, at least, that Sierra Madre will be served by those seeking to encourage 
the economic recovery rather than block it for partisan purpose; who’ll serve the 
interests of We the People rather than those of the highest bidder.

The first speaker, Rep. Judy Chu, brought her background as L.A. Community College 
professor, Monterrey Park mayor and State Assembly member to the U.S. Congress in 2009 
to succeed Hilda Solis, now Secretary of Labor under President Obama. In congress, 
Rep. Chu has distinguished herself as an advocate for women’s reproductive rights, public 
service, education, and in encouraging the developing green economy - having received a 
100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters. A welcome relief from retiring Rep. 
David Dreier.

Might be genetics, but Chris Holden has shown the same enthusiasm for public service 
in his hometown of Pasadena as his father, Nate Holden, showed as an L.A. City Councilman. 
As longtime Pasadena councilmember and former mayor, he’s seen to the continued 
vibrancy of Old Town and charter reform at City Hall. At the meeting, he expressed his 
desire to see successes such as that of Old Town replicated in communities throughout the 
state. As a potential constituent, I’d rather be hearing about such successes of my State Assemblyman 
than about charges brought against an incumbent for packing loaded guns at 
an airport.

I was also impressed with your own record of accomplishment, Sen. Liu, from a career in 
education to the La Canada Flintridge City Council, from the Assembly to the State Senate 
representing Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena – and now maybe Sierra Madre. It’s a record 
not just of promoting quality of life for all, but of focusing on the protection of those most 
vulnerable – children, the elderly and disabled – constituencies least likely to have high-
priced Sacramento lobbyists promoting their cause.

I also had the opportunity at the meeting to chat with Dr. Janice Nelson, longtime activist 
and wife of a former mayor of Sierra Madre. Dr. Nelson was collecting signatures on a 
petition to bring health insurance under the purview of the State Insurance Commissioner. 
Among other things, hikes in insurance premiums would have to be justified to the Commissioner, 
as is now required with car insurance. A bill with similar goals died in the State 
Senate last year. This is the issue I said I’d be following up on with you.

The bill, AB52 by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, would’ve given either the Insurance Commissioner 
or the Dept. of Managed Health Care authority to stop excessive rate hikes. It passed 
the Assembly last June with the support of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

In the Senate, Health Committee Chairman Ed Hernandez (D) initially supported AB52 
but, as reported by the Center for American Progress, let it die because he “could not support 
the bill in its current form.” The Center also reported Sen. Hernandez’ income is 
boosted by $69,000 a year by payments from Kaiser Health Plans on property he owns. 
Kaiser spent $5 million lobbying Sacramento since 2009; along with Anthem Blue Cross 
spending $2.5 million, UnitedHealth and Health Net a million each, and Blue Shield California 

(In an irony not lost on health advocates, the lobbying firm retained by Kaiser, Carpenter 
Hawkins Sievers LLC, was active for over a decade battling efforts to curtail smoking in 
public places and tobacco marketing aimed at children.)

In comments addressed to Rep. Chu, I mentioned that fully two-thirds of my state retirement 
payments goes to health insurance premiums, with between a quarter and a third of 
that going not to healthcare but skimmed off for corporate profit and overhead – feeding 
multi-million-dollar bonuses for execs at WellPoint and UnitedHealth – while state tuitions 
are hiked, teachers are laid off and the safety net for our neediest is shredded.

Were a single-payer system established for state retirees and/or employees, there would 
be no pension problem – or at least not the gutting of needed services we’re seeing today.

A single-payer plan for all Californians nearly passed in early February, and would’ve become 
a reality had it garnered the support of only two of the six Democratic senators 
who were bought off. The six, Sens. Calderon, Correa, Padilla, Rubio, Vargas and Wright, 
received a total of $1.4 million from the insurance, pharmaceutical and health industries.

This would’ve been routine had Republicans been in charge. What makes it noteworthy 
is that this sacrificing of our state’s well-being for the benefit of narrow corporate interests 
took place under a Democratic majority.

By June 5, we should know enough to base our decisions on more than whether a name is 
followed by a “D” or an “R”. I hope my neighbors in Sierra Madre will have the opportunity 
to meet you and the other candidates in person as I did, and I trust that in the next several 
weeks the Mountain Views News will play a crucial role in helping us become familiar with 
those who would represent us in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

My Best,

Howard Hays, Sierra Madre, CA 

TINA Dupay

 This campaign season 
can be summed up 
by one interview on 
conservative talk 
radio last August. 
It was with Iowa 
Straw Poll-sweeper 
Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, in which 
she proclaimed: “What people recognize is 
that there’s a fear that the United States is in 
an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of 
China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet 
Union and our loss militarily going forward.” 
Yes, Bachmann warned us of a foreign boogieman 
rising … one that’s been dead for over 20 years.


 But warning of a zombie nation feasting on 
the metaphorical brains of the U.S. is consistent 
with a party now completely untethered from 
basic American history, science or any other 
evidence-based practice: The GOP is now a party 
standing proudly on a pro-fiction platform. 
Yes, in their party, as an aide to Senator Jon Kyl 
put it last year, whatever they say is “not intended 
to be a factual statement” but to illustrate a point. 
For example, this week Mitt Romney brought 
a Michigan tea party audience to tears 
recalling the 50th anniversary of the American 
automobile event he attended as a child … even 
though it took place months before he was born. 
Former Senator Rick Santorum asserts 
public schools are an “anachronism” of the 
industrialized era as the reason they should be 
privatized. He said at the CNN debate last week: 
“Not only do I believe the federal government 
should get out of the education business, I 
think the state government should start to get 
out of the education business and put it back 
to the local and into the community.” Just when 
millions of Americans have lost their homes 
comes a candidate in favor of home schooling. 
Public schools are arguably what made us a 
country. The colonies had one of the highest 
literacy rates in the world at the time. In James 
D. Hart’s “The Popular Book: A History of 
America’s Literary Taste” published in 1950, 
he notes that in 1650 New England there were 
laws requiring “reading and writing schools.” 
Education was thought to thwart Satan at that 
time (note to Santorum there). Hart goes on 
to include a popular ditty of the era: “From 
public schools shall general knowledge flow, 
For ‘tis the people’s sacred right to know.” 
Also, the principal writer of the 
Declaration of Independence, Thomas 
Jefferson, was (gasp) publically educated. 
Santorum, as a pro-fiction candidate, 
also dismisses colleges as “indoctrination 
mills.” One man’s indoctrination is another 
man’s accreditation to work in the sciences. 
The four candidates still vying for the 
nomination are pro-fiction to the core: Somehow 
the President who okayed the assassination of 
Osama bin Laden, sent drone attacks into Libya 
and kept Gitmo open is an apologetic pansy – soft 
on our enemies. Obama has deported more illegal 
immigrants and spent more money protecting 
the border than any of his predecessors – but 
he’s ignoring the issue of illegal immigration. 
Romney keeps on promising if elected he’ll make 
the military so powerful no other country would 
dare attack us even though we have the biggest 
military in the world. Gingrich who says if given 
any power he’ll send U.S. Marshalls to compel 
radical judges to explain their rulings, deems 
“the pill” to be the epitome of radical government 
overreach. Taxes? Too high even though they’re 
historically low (especially during war time). 
Tax cuts? A pay-for-themselves panacea even 
though the Bush Tax Cuts didn’t pan out. 
Challenge their narrative and brace for 
the ad hominem attacks. You only believe 
this because you’re at least one of the 
following: liberal, socialist, unemployed, 
commie sympathizer, elite, dupe, European, 
journalist, gun hater, Muslim, Obama-bot, 
or (my favorite from my inbox) silly little girl. 
Because in fiction you must create an enemy or 
there’s no story.

 The pro-fiction party will tell you their 
ideas will lower gas prices, cut the deficit, 
end poverty, cut the size of government and 
make everybody super free by allowing the 
states to decide which rights to take away. 
No matter how completely impossible – 
no matter how divorced from evidence or 
precedence – the GOP will continue to make 
claims not to be factual – but just to illustrate a 
point. Possibly that you should vote for them.

The Soviet Union must be watching this race 
right now and just laughing their heads off.

Tina Dupuy is an award-winning writer and the 
managing editor of Crooks and Liars. Tina can be 
reached at

GOP 2012: