Final And Future Thoughts On Recall And Protest Candidates
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Read the rest of the Joe Guzzardi recall campaign story:

10/24/03 - The Modesto Bee Says Sorry (Sort Of)

10/14/03 - Joe's Campaign Diary (With Bittersweet Conclusion)

10/10/03 - Why I Won

10/07/03 - Joe Guzzardi Returns From The Campaign Trail!

08/08/03 - Establishment To California: Shut Up About Immigration In This Election!

Psst….let the word go forth. Senator Barbara Boxer's re-election race—due in 2004—is an excellent opportunity for an immigration reform protest candidate.

 "Why in the world would anyone want to run?" you ask.

Let me explain briefly:

  • Having just run a successful campaign myself, I'm energized. Our efforts in the Gray Davis Recall election reached hundreds of thousands of people. I can guarantee a positive response by disgruntled Californians.

  • By running, our as-yet-unnamed candidate would set an example for more concerned citizens to run on immigration reform platforms at the local, state, and federal level. We get a great bang for our buck.

Although three weeks have passed since the Recall Election, I am still hearing about how we got our message out. In Washington DC last week, I met Phil Kent, author of the new and well-reviewed book, The Dark Side of Liberalism, Unchaining the Truth.

Kent told me that he had spoken to a student political group at the University of California, Berkeley just prior to the Recall Election. According to Kent, the students had downloaded information from my website, Even better, they supported my immigration reform views.

And in an October 17 post-election story published in the Washington Times, "Arnold Faces Test on Immigration" , reporter Steven Dinan quoted my cautionary advice as an immigration reformer to Governor-elect Schwarzenegger: don't start pandering now.

I believe that, by running for governor, I've paved the way for others to follow. I'll share everything I learned the first time around—plenty—to help the next candidate run more efficiently and effectively.

To be frank, I'm hoping others learned from my experience, too. Let's review what future the protest candidate should expect his colleagues the next time around:

  • Understand the nature of the protest candidacy. The protest candidate is not going to win. But he is going to spread our message.

  • Even if you do not vote for him because you think your single vote might be the one that stops an open-borders candidate, do not communicate this until the very end—and if then, with regret! Your active and vocal support throughout the campaign means our message will be heard—and may force other candidates to take a stronger stance on our issue. 

  • If you do understand that no amount of compromise will save our state, vote for the protest candidate.

  • Realize that the importance of immigration reform transcends partisan politics. Support him as a one-issue candidate. In my campaign for governor, running as a Democrat, I eclipsed conflicted Republican Tom McClintock. But he was still blindly touted by some Republicans as the "only" solution to ending immigration.

  • Call in some favors on the protest candidate's behalf. Organize events. I had virtually no volunteers, but I would gladly have traveled anywhere to meet with serious individuals at anytime.

  • Open your wallets, please. Many Californians and a surprising number of out-of-state residents were very generous to me. Yet many requests to California activists went unheeded. Put your money where your mouth is.

  • Give the protest candidacy your attention—even if you are all the way back in Washington, D.C. Emotional support from out-of-state activists and national "headquarters" is very important, especially for pioneers who are blazing the trail.

Here's how I see it Barbara Boxer. She is unpopular and vulnerable. In a poll taken before Recall madness, Boxer against came out just 7 percentage points higher than former Gov. Pete Wilson (unlikely to run), 12 higher than former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, 17 higher than U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, 15 higher than former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin (the current Republican Party darling) and 26 higher than former Los Altos Hills Mayor Toni Casey.  These are not good margins for an incumbent.

Forty-eight percent of California voters surveyed this summer by the Field Poll said they were inclined to re-elect the San Francisco Democrat; the percentage not inclined to re-elect is 41 percent.

Again, this small margin, viewed in light of California's "Let's Throw Them Out" attitude, is bad news for Boxer.

Any primary challenge by our side against the incumbent Boxer would generate publicity. And that gives us a forum to focus on Boxer's strong open-borders immigration policy.

Numerous California immigration reformers are qualified. Now is the hour for them to begin formulating an aggressive plan.

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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