Read the rest of the Joe Guzzardi recall campaign story:
Whenever my old man encountered a long-winded type, he'd say, "Remember, son, empty barrels make the most noise."
My father's definition of a gasbag: any person who spoke more than 15 consecutive words.
So you can imagine what he would think of the leading candidates in California's October 7th Recall Gray Davis election.
As of Friday, 511 candidates have requested the paper work from the Secretary of State.
But that doesn't mean that they will actually be on the ballot. To be officially entered, they must pay their money, submit the required signatures in support of their candidacy and have those signatures verified by the local county office registrar. Not until August 13th will we actually know the final list.
However, Arnold Schwarzenegger - the emptiest barrel of them all - is officially in.
Schwarzenegger dipped his toe into California politics in 2002. He sponsored Proposition 49 to fund up to $455 million (which California obviously doesn't have) for before- and after-school programs for public school students.
To call Proposition 49 total hogwash is to be generous. For example, my Lodi Unified School District offers so many after school programs that they overlap and conflict with each other.
More to the point for VDARE.COM readers: Schwarzenegger's position on the National Question.
Don't look for him to be engaging in any heated debates about immigration. His puffball statement after the Jay Leno show says it all:
"As you know I'm an immigrant.
I came over here as an immigrant, and what gave me the
opportunities, what made me to be here today is the open
arms of Americans. I have been received, I have been
adopted by America.
"I've seen firsthand coming here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of desire, full of will to succeed, but with the opportunities that I had, I could make it. This is why we have to get back and bring California back to where it once was."
But you can be sure that Schwarzenegger's swooning recollection of his own immigrant experiences—"Everyone should get a chance" - will be embraced by the California media.
Schwarzenegger's fellow challengers John Garamendi, Tom McClintock, Arianna Huffington, Bill Simon and most certainly California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante – don't even mention restricting immigration on their websites.
That's a tip-off that the politicians and the press will do all it can to squelch debate.
Case in point: the hatchet job the Ventura County Star did on nine-term U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly when he indicated an interest in running for Governor.
Gallegly identified immigration as one of the culprits in California's collapse. His July 31st press release said:
"I firmly believe that illegal immigration is at the root of California's economic problems. It's also an issue that politicians are afraid to touch. But we cannot ignore it. It depresses wages, taxes our schools and health care systems, and increases the burden on our criminal justice system."
"California attracts about half of America's illegal immigrants because of its incentives to come here: low-cost higher education, acceptance of foreign identification cards, the possibility of a driver's license and the like."
"As a rule, illegal immigrants don't have health insurance, use emergency rooms for routine medical care and don't have money to pay their bills. California hospitals incur $3.6 billion a year in uncompensated care. More than half of the state's hospitals operated in the red last year and 82 percent of California emergency rooms reported losing money in 2000. Many have been forced to close.
Our city, county and state jails and prisons are overcrowded because of the large number of incarcerated illegal immigrants. In the federal system, about 30 percent of inmates are illegal immigrants. We cannot build prisons fast enough to hold them, and it forces the early release of criminals into society."
This is a blunt but honest assessment of what goes on in California regarding illegal immigration. No one can deny it. But the treason lobby and the media look the other way.
The Ventura County Star, the largest newspaper in Gallegly's district, moved quickly to enforce the orthodoxy. In an August 3 editorial entitled "Scapegoating is no solution," [August 3, 2003] the Star editorial implied that Gallegly's position against illegal immigration is well known (that is, tedious) to his constituents and a throwback to the Pete Wilson/Proposition 187 days that allegedly cost the Republican Party dearly. (This myth isn't going away – and for good measure, the Star included a misleading account of how Proposition 187 was mugged in the courts.)
The Star did acknowledge that:
"Illegal immigration is a legitimate issue that deserves attention."
But it concluded:
"California needs a governor who can take this state forward, not backward, and hit more than one note."
Why wouldn't the Star praise the hometown boy and his bold stand on a controversial issue? I called to speak to the editorial's author, Marianne Ratcliff [send her email].
Ratcliff's reasoning: "This race is not about illegal immigration. The issue before the voters is the recall. The recall is about the budget shortfall. And the shortfall is caused by the energy crisis."
She seemed to have no view on when it would be permissible to discuss illegal immigration.
As I write, I don't know whether Gallegly will run - or if the immigration issue will be suppressed again.
But I do know that it cannot be suppressed indefinitely.
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.