In my March column "Governor Dianne Feinstein: The Horror!", I gave Meg Whitman, former E-Bay chief executive officer, the inside track for the Republican gubernatorial nomination to run for the seat vacated by termed-out Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In the upcoming Senate race against the formidable three-term incumbent Barbara Boxer, ousted Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer and Whitman's Silicon Valley neighbor Carly Fiorina now looks like the Republican favorite.[Ex-HP Chief 'Seriously Considering' Challenging Boxer, by Shane Goldmacher, Sacramento Bee, April 1, 2009]
Whitman and Fiorina have much in common—all of it bad—besides their doomed candidacies.
Of the two aspiring politicians, Fiorina is by far the most dangerous.
Under Fiorina, HP's acquisition of Compaq led the company into disastrous financial set- backs. Yet, she somehow emerged as an advisor to both former President George W. Bush and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on economic issues.
Since HP canned her, Fiorina actively promotes what she calls the "California Agenda". She's formed the egomaniacally named "Carly Fiorina Enterprises" to focus on globalism. (Take a close look at her picture on her home page to see how highly Fiorina thinks of herself.)
Fiorina says she wants to "build a bridge" between Silicon Valley and Washington. Her wish is to use her extensive political connections on Capitol Hill to help the technology industry fulfill its anti-American mission. To that end, Fiorina was recently named to lead the board of directors for the Technology Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.
The bottom line: Fiorina wants more immigration and no cap on H-1B visas. [Learning from Her Past, by Jessica Guynn, San Francisco Chronicle, June 14, 2006]
I'm amazed at how California's GOP continues to want to shoot itself in the foot.
Not only does Whitman stand no chance against either of the two leading Democratic prospective gubernatorial nominees, Dianne Feinstein or Jerry Brown, but moreover Boxer, according to current polls, would bury Fiorina by 30 points, 55 percent to 25.
Boxer's projected cakewalk comes despite her lukewarm ratings among voters in general. In March, only 42 percent of California voters indicated they were "inclined" to vote for Boxer with 43 percent "unlikely to support her" again.[Fiorina Seriously Considering Senate Run in 2010, by Juliet Williams, Forbes, April 1, 2009]
So I ask the California G.O.P.—hasn't history taught you anything?
Let's look back.
In 2004, the GOP nominated Bill Jones to take on Boxer. But by early November, Jones joined a long list of California Republicans who blew their chance at high office and now rest on the political ash heap.
Jones received a pathetic 39 percent of the total vote. Even more telling is Boxer's vote tally hit 6.9 million, the highest for any Senate candidate in American history.
Because Jones ran a predictable RINO campaign—commenting only in politically correct terms on out-of-control immigration—his name was added to California's rogue's gallery of other challengers who ignored the illegal alien crisis: Bill Simon (vs. Gov. Gray Davis, 2002), Dan Lungren (vs. Davis, 1998), Tom Campbell (vs. Dianne Feinstein, 2000) and Matt Fong (vs. Boxer, 1998).
A high-visibility, second-generation California rancher who wrote the 1994 "Three Strikes Law" and who had been California's two-term Secretary of State, Jones squandered any chance he might have had by running such an ineffectual campaign.
And, in fact, Jones did indeed have a chance.
Jones showed early signs of life by defeating his primary opponent, Bush's Mexican-born White House darling and former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, by 23 points. That should have encouraged him to go on the attack about California's out-of-control immigration invasion—because the harsh reality was that Marin's incessant chatter about the wonderfulness of her immigrant background irritated non-Hispanic voters.
But the clueless Jones failed to capitalize.
Now Fiorina, a political neophyte, wants to go head to head against Boxer.
If I were California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring, I would be asking myself who exactly could Fiorina's audience be and on what platform will she run?
See if you can find anything in Fiorina's thumbnail resume that might compel you to vote for her
That's a lot of dirty laundry.
Seriously, who outside of her closest friends and family would vote for Fiorina? From Boxer's perspective, running against Fiorina is the same as running unopposed.
The tragedy of this situation: since Pete Wilson—one of California's most successful Republicans who at various times served as Mayor of San Diego, a State Assemblyman, a U.S. Senator and finally Governor—the Republicans have literally run away from legal and illegal immigration as a campaign issue even though it is one of their strongest.
Amazingly, party officials have been duped by the other side into believing that offending California Hispanics leads to political disaster despite overwhelming evidence that refusing to go on the offensive is the kiss of death, e.g. read the political obituaries of Jones, Campbell, Fong, Simon and Lungren.
But since 2010 is a long time away, hope remains. While Fiorina gets all the press about her pending Senate bid, another potentially strong candidate and patriotic immigration reform ally lurks.
California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is also in the hunt for Boxer's Senate seat. DeVore once challenged Vicente Fox on the Mexican president's support of illegal immigration, led a Republican Taskforce on Illegal Immigration that concluded it costs the state $10 billion annually and co-authored a bill to end in-state tuition for aliens.
For those of you who have never heard of DeVore or think he has no chance, here's something to chew on.
As of today, DeVore stands at 9 percent in a recent Field Poll. Interestingly, that's exactly where then-Congressman Boxer polled in 1991 when she was considered the longest of shots because of her radical left-wing politics.
We all know what happened.
Boxer beat out Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy and her fellow Congressman Ted Levine in the primary before edging out Republican Bruce Herschensohn (now the DeVore campaign honorary chair) in the general election. Boxer has been in the Senate ever since.
What happened is simple. The Democrats joined forces behind Boxer to push her candidacy to the front.
The Republican Party could do they same for DeVore. The question is will it? Or will it instead endorse Fiorina, a sure loser?
If the Republicans are resigned to losing, at least let them go out with their guns blazing.
Who knows? This time they might actually hit something.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.