Elephant In California's Living Room Still Unmentionable—For Now
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On Tuesday November 2nd at exactly 8:01 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, incumbent California Senator Barbara Boxer will be declared the overwhelming winner in her re-election race against Republican "challenger" Bill Jones.

At that same instant, Jones will join a long list of California Republicans who blew their chance at high office and now rest on the political ash heap.

Because Jones ran a predictable RINO (Republican in Name Only) campaign—commenting only in politically correct terms on out-of-control immigration—he will join a rogue's gallery of other challengers who failed to mention immigration: Bill Simon (vs. Gov. Gray Davis, 2002), Dan Lungren (vs. Davis, 1998), Tom Campbell (vs. Dianne Feinstein, 2000) and Matt Fong (vs. Boxer, 1998).

The Boxer-Jones outcome won't register on the political seismograph. Jones supporters have been hanging crepe since he won the Republican nomination in March.

Those few who held out hope heard the death knell last week when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who endorsed Jones in the primary, would not be photographed with him. [Jones' Schwarzenegger fund-raiser latest sign of troubled run, by Beth Fouhy, Associated Press, Sep. 19, 2004]

As of today, Boxer leads in the polls by 54%-36%

Puzzled grassroots Californians are scratching their heads wondering how it is possible to run for Senate in California (!) without hammering away, Tom Tancredo-style, at illegal immigration's consequences.

Activist Evelyn Miller asked Jones's campaign manager Stephen Frank that exact question during a face to face meeting. Frank's response was a stony stare.

Jones, the former two-term California Secretary of State, could have battled the perennially vulnerable Boxer to the wire.  Jones is a highly visibile, second- generation California rancher whose accomplishments as Secretary of State include writing the "Three Strikes Law" that passed in a 1994 initiative with 72% of the vote.

Jones showed early signs of life by defeating his primary opponent, the Hispanic White House favorite and former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, by 23 points. That should have provided him with a clue that Marin's incessant chatter about the wonderfulness of her immigrant background irritated voters.

If Jones had thrown grenades about illegal immigration coming off his primary win, he would have made a splash.

Instead, with six weeks to go before Election Day, the Jones campaign is best described as "coulda, shoulda, woulda…"

More's the pity. Even in ultra-liberal California, Boxer—ranked as the fifth most liberal Senator by the National Journal in 2003— represents an inviting target for Republicans— assuming the Republican challenger has gumption.

Ken Khachigian, campaign manager for Boxer's first GOP Senate opponent Bruce Herschensohn, agrees, "She's extremely partisan and extremely ideological, and she pretty much represents a narrow view in California of the left." [GOP may not like it, but same Boxer cruising to third Senate win, Erica Werner, Sep. 19, 2004, Associated Press]

That certainly applies to Boxer's immigration agenda. Although Boxer claims she is against amnesty, she is a co-sponsor of S1545, the DREAM Act that would allow aliens to pay in-state tuition rates at universities. Boxer also supports the AgJOBS bill and driver's license for illegal aliens.

Boxer's support of these unpopular pro-illegal alien bills provides plenty of fodder for an astute politician.

And any aggressive challenger could also point to the illegal alien-induced nightmare in southern California. A recently released report by the Southern California Association of Government found that in the last decade southern California had experienced a net out migration of 1.5 million residents and replaced them with 1.5 million poor and less educated immigrations.

Among the problems created by that demographic shift are:

  • The Los Angeles County illiteracy rate in the workplace is 53%. This is a sure sign that illiterate illegal aliens are getting jobs that otherwise would go to Americans.

In the face of these multiple compelling problems, Jones remained mute.

Jones is simply clueless. During a summer appearance on the John and Ken Show, Jones said that his solution to the illegal alien disaster would be to bill the federal government for California's costs for social services rendered.

This is mind-boggling stupidity for two reasons:

  • First, the federal government is a pro-illegal alien body with no intention of reimbursing a single dime.

  • Second, even if the feds agreed to pay, those are still our dollars.

Instead of taking the illegal immigration bull by the horns, Jones consistently mealy-mouthed his way around it.

Here, at a recent roundtable discussion with "recent immigrants" is what Jones said about immigration and education:

"The U.S. remains more open than any other nation, any other society in its approach to legal immigration. We welcome more people, we provide more access to citizenship, and we offer more paths to success than virtually any other nation in history.  We have always been the land of opportunity, and should always remain so. Education has always been the ladder used by each immigrant group to higher economic achievement. My wife, Maurine, has been a high school English teacher and special education teacher, and our family has a personal and deep commitment to improving our public schools. The resources of the federal government can be applied in several ways to further education performance."

Jones' comment is off-topic re California today, disingenuous and, ultimately, nauseating.

Jones has summoned Arizona Senator John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to California to stump with him. Given McCain and Giuliani's pro-illegal alien track record, that's a bad idea.

McCain and Guiliani will not impact the election's outcome one iota. And Jones could have saved their airfare if he had just done the obvious: made a simple statement, repeated at every whistle stop, that when elected to the U.S. Senate, he would enforce the immigration laws of the nation and work vigorously to end illegal immigration by securing the border.

Here is my closing prediction: this is the last California campaign for Senate, Congress or Governor that will not include open debates about immigration. The people, whose voices are now loudly heard on talk radio and the Internet, will simply not permit more ducking.

At least one Congressman agrees with me. In an interview with Lou Dobbs this week, Dana Rohrabacher said,

"Unless the political parties step up and address this issue, I predict that within a year or two, there will be a third party that will emerge and it will sweep out the existing parties."

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.

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