August 20, 2003

This recall is bigger than California. What's happening here is part of an ongoing national effort to steal elections Republicans cannot win. It started with the impeachment of President Clinton, when the Republicans could not beat him in 1996.

During the early days of his first campaign for
Governor of California, I met Gray Davis. I was
walking out of the gym, he was passing through the
lobby (incognito) with two aides. I stopped him, shook
his hand and told him I was voting for him. I was
surprised by what I saw in his eyes. There was blue
steel. What's in there is very different from the
public perception of Davis. He went on to win the
race. Yesterday, years later, I was leaving the gym
and glanced up at the TV screen. Gray Davis was on
*local* TV live from UCLA pulling the pin and hurling
the political grenade that had to be launched...There
have been a few very important speeches in recent
years (at least for posterity): those of Maxine Waters
(D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Cynthia McKinney
(D-GA) and other members of the Congressional Black
Caucus as Al Gore presided over the validation of
electoral college results skewed by the phoney count
from Fraudida in Jan. 2000, several concerning Iraq,
etc. from Sen. Byrd on the floor of the US Senate over
the last few months, Al Gore's recent speech to and now this blistering, brave condemnation
of the putsch from Gray Davis (Democrat, Vietnam vet
and duly elected Governor of California)...Davis's
blue steel might just come through this fire...Oh, the
propapunditgandists will mock and villify him. Indeed,
they have already begun...The blow-dry TV anchors are
calling it "conspiracy theory" already...Of course,
but the people know, the people will respond if
someone takes *them* on and Gray Davis has just spoken
the supposedly unspeakable...Just watch...,1,898145.story?coll=la-home-headlines

August 19, 2003 E-mail story Print

Text of Gov. Gray Davis' Speech at UCLA
By Associated Press

August 19, 2003

Following is the text of Gov. Gray Davis' speech
Tuesday at the University of California, Los Angeles:

Thank you, my friends.

Viva California. Thank you, my friends, for coming
here tonight, and those of you watching at home. I
know California is going through a difficult time, and
this is a challenging moment for all of us. I come
here to take responsibility and set the record
straight and to talk about our future.

Let's first talk about energy. I know many of you feel
that I was too slow to act during the energy crisis.

I got your message and I accept that criticism. I
played the hand I was dealt as best I could. I
inherited the energy deregulation scheme which put all
of us at the mercy of the big energy producers.

We got no help from the federal government. In fact,
when I was fighting Enron and the other energy
companies, these same companies were sitting down with
Vice President Cheney to draft a national energy

Recent federal investigations have proven that
California was victimized by a massive fraud. Energy
executives are on their way to jail.

Three years ago, I refused to give in to the pressure
to raise rates astronomically. Everyone I talked to
said "raise rates, raise rates, raise rates." I would
not do it. And I also couldn't let our homes, our
businesses, our schools go dark. So I went to work,
bought power, built new plants, encouraged
conservation for the good people of this state and
encouraged the use of clean energy.

My friends, last Friday, 50 million Americans lost
electricity for 29 hours. In California, not a single
light has gone out in the last two years.

I'm not looking for praise. We made our share of
mistakes. And, like you, I wish I had known then all I
know now. But my friends, if any of the Republicans in
this recall campaign criticized the way we dealt with
the energy crisis, you ask them specifically what they
would have done to keep the lights on.

Now let's talk about the budget. I'm not happy with
the budget I signed recently. I said so then, I repeat
that today. But it was the best we could do given the
position of Republican legislators who would not
compromise and who wanted to strip away health
insurance benefits from 400,000 children of working
parents rather than increase taxes on the wealthiest

But as everyone considers how we got into this
situation, let me put our situation into perspective.
The American economy has tanked. Over the last couple
years, it has shed 3 million jobs and gone from record
surpluses to record deficit; 46 other states are
facing similar problems.

Yes, I could have been tougher in holding down
spending when we had big surpluses. But let's be
clear. Our increases on my watch went to education and
health care, and I make no apology for that.

When I took office, we ranked near the bottom in
per-pupil spending, 43rd to be specific. We are now
26, and we're making progress. In fact, just last
week, just last Friday, the superintendent of public
instruction announced dramatic improvement in student
test scores for the fifth year in a row.

Let me just say that the thanks should just go to the
teachers, parents, school board members, principals
and all the hard-working people in education.

Let me tell you something else about the budget. In
California, the Constitution prohibits spending a
dollar unless you get a two-thirds vote of the
Legislature. So those spending increases I mentioned
during the early part of my term -- health care and
education -- those increases were supported by
Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento. And one more
point about the budget: Some Republicans accuse me of
hiding the deficit. That is preposterous, my friends.
In California, state finances are a matter of public
record. They're available to anyone who wants to see.

Now let's talk about the recall. This recall is bigger
than California. What's happening here is part of an
ongoing national effort to steal elections Republicans
cannot win. It started with the impeachment of
President Clinton, when the Republicans could not beat
him in 1996. It continued in Florida, where they
stopped the vote count, depriving thousands of
Americans of the right to vote. This year, they're
trying to steal additional congressional seats in
Colorado and Texas, overturning legal redistricting
plans. Here in California, the Republicans lost the
governor's race last November. Now they're trying to
use this recall to seize control of California just
before the next presidential election.

They spent $3 million to put this recall on the
ballot, but you're going to have to spend $65 million
of your hard-working tax dollars to conduct that
election. I'm sure you'll agree with me that money
could be better spent educating our children.

Call me old fashion, and I am. Call me old fashion,
but I believe when an election is over, the people
have spoken and it's time to get to work and do the
public's business. There are many reasons to be
against this recall. It's expensive, it's
undemocratic, it's a bad precedent, and it almost
certainly will breed more recalls. The end result will
be more campaigning, not less, more politics, not
less, and less time to do the public's business.

The Republicans behind this recall say they want you
to oust me for past mistakes. My friends, they don't
give a rip about past mistakes. This is all about
control in the future, seizing back the governor's
chair and believing with so many candidates running
they can do it with just a handful of California
voters. That's what this is all about.

In the next seven weeks, my highest priority will be
doing the job you elected me to do. But make no
mistake, I am going to fight this recall and the
right-wing forces behind it. Take that to the bank.

My friends, from day one I have fought to improve our
schools. This year in Sacramento, believe it or not,
the Republicans wanted to kick 110,000 kids out of
kindergarten. But we worked together and we stopped
it. Our schools are getting better, and I pledge you
to work every day to improve them further.

That's my highest priority. I said from the very
beginning, my three highest priorities are education,
education, education. The schools are getting better,
kids are learning more, teachers are better trained,
doing a fabulous job, parents are more involved. We're
on the right path.

I'm also proud to tell you I signed some of the
toughest environmental laws in America over the last
five years. Laws that clean up our air, clean up our
water and protect our magnificent coastline.
California has become a national leader again on the
environment, and I will never allow California's
strong environmental record to be reversed -- not by
Republicans, not by anyone. I'm going to fight to
protect this environment. The same is true for
reproductive rights, privacy rights and civil rights.

We passed the toughest laws in the nation, bar none,
on all three subjects. And while the Bush
administration spends its time peering into our
bedrooms, our homes and our libraries, I have been
working with Democratic legislators in Sacramento to
pass the toughest financial privacy law in America. My
friends, no one, no one should look at your bank
balances, your spending habits or your personal
financial data unless you give them permission to do
so. I will sign a bill this year that will protect
your financial privacy whether I'm governor for
another seven weeks or another three years.

Now let me speak about another issue that will be on
the ballot, Proposition 54.

Proposition 54 is another Republican effort to divide
Californians over race. I am going to fight this
initiative, and I'm going to fight every day to make
equal opportunity a reality for every person living in
this great state.

Thank you. Thank you.

Now the budget problems we've been dealing with need a
long-term fix. I have signed the budget. But we need a
long-term fix. And I will soon appoint a distinguished
commission of knowledgeable people to propose changes
in our budget structure to avoid the wild fluctuations
we've seen the last four years and which we saw in the
early '90s.

I also want to make this state better. I want to make
it better to work and to do business, whether you are
in the private sector, the public sector or the
nonprofit world. Wherever you're working, you are
experiencing skyrocketing increases in worker
compensation rates, and I pledge to you that I will
sign a bill this year that will stop those increases.

There is much more that needs to be done in
California. This election is about your future. I
intend to fight for it, and I need your help.

Now this is not going to shock you. I may not be the
warmest TV personality in politics, but I am warming
to this fight. And I will go all over this state, talk
to all comers, answer all their questions, and I might
have one or two of my own to ask them.

Now the Republicans say this recall is about ousting
me for past problems. But my friends, we're getting
over our past problems. California did not go dark. I
signed a budget. The schools are getting better, and
our economy will turn around.

But this right-wing power grab is something we won't
get over. It will do lasting damage to our state, our
environment and the very fabric of our democracy.

This is a fight worth making and I need your help.

My friends, if you give me your help, I'll do
everything in my power over the next three-and-a-half
years to represent everyone in this great state --
Democrats, Republicans and independents -- to give our
children the future they deserve.

Thank you for coming here tonight. God bless you, and
God bless America."

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Copyright 2003 Los Angeles Times

Posted by richard at August 20, 2003 07:50 AM