Decision day approaches as to the 50th
District’s choice for the interim position of Congressman in the special
election on April 11th. This election will, temporarily at least, fill the seat of
disgraced Congressman Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham.
The individual elected will also have the benefit of being an incumbent
when running for the subsequent general election in November, 2006.
Part of the responsibility we newspaper
types have is to trudge to a number of candidate forums, listen to them speak,
sort out what they say, how they say it, and provide some insight to you, the
public, as to what appears to be shaping up.
While we don’t endorse candidates we
are happy to give our observations as who they are and what it looks like the
rascals are up to.
The Republican candidate list is a
crowded one. In our not so humble
opinion there are only three, maybe four candidates who ought to even be
running. The others are just clogging up
the system and wasting a lot of our time and their money. Oh, to be sure, they have every right to run,
but the question is, should they? And
the answer is often a resounding ‘no.’
Here’s how we see it.
At the top of the heap there are:
Bilbray, Morrow and Kaloogian
all have legislative experience. Bilbray at the City, County, and Congressional level, Morrow at the
State Senate Level, Kaloogian at the state Assembly
level. Eric Roach has no
but a lot of money, much of which he’s spending to gain name
recognition. Richard Ernest has some legistlative experience, both at the city level as both
councilmember and Mayor for the city of Del Mar.
Roach, Ernest, Alan Uke
and Bill Hauf are all millionaires who are throwing
money at the electorate in the hopes of gaining name recognition. Uke has some political
experience lobbying governmental entities in his successful effort to bring the
aircraft carrier Midway to San Diego.
Look, being a congressman means having
the experience, the contacts, knowing how the game is played. Who to contact to get what
done . . . how and when to compromise . . . what pressure points to work to
bring other legislators around to your point of view. It is a craft that must be honed by years of
experience. Bilbray, Morrow and Kaloogian have it . . . Roach and Ernest don’t. While Roach and Ernest have demonstrated they
are outstanding business people . . . they’d be completely out of their element
in congress. Plus, there would be a
lengthy learning curve. We, the
electorate, can’t afford that.
At this point, we’d guess that Bilbray
has the inside track, with Morrow a close second. We don’t see Kaloogian
making it this
time around . . . and that’s fine with us.
We’re not fond of extreme far left or extreme far right. Kaloogian is about
as far right as you can get. A number of
his endorsements are very far right. I
submit we don’t need any more extremists in Congress . . . but representatives
who are moderate in political philosophy but aggressive about getting the job
done. Bilbray and Morrow both fit this
Things can change in the several weeks
before the election, but that’s how we see it at this relatively early stage .
. . unless, of course, one of the candidates does something stupid. And that’s not likely to happen.
On the campaign trail:
Scott Turner, the former Charger, was
very late. His excuse for being late was
very lame (I was resting my feet from walking the precincts
yesterday." It would have been better
for him to say nothing at all. He then
proceeded to list how he was elected to the NFL Players Committee, and had to
"lay down his life" for the NFL players (a comment that made me cringe, particularly when there are military folks literally
laying down their lives. Poor analogy). I
decided he'd be an outstanding candidate for some elected position in the NFL,
but certainly not for Congress.
great athlete, pastor of a church, but totally unrealistic as to politics.
earlier we had heard a half hour presentation by, respectively, Alan Uke and, earlier, Francine Busby.
Uke is, no question, a brilliant
successful. A good man who has done a lot of good
things. He is, however, not
charismatic. At all. He is so soft spoken it is difficult to hear
him and understand his proposals at a public forum. He needs to work on his public speaking and
microphone technique. I would not call
him a spellbinding orator.
Francine Busby, the primary Democratic
candidate, is, I’m sure, a very nice lady, kind to little children and puppy
dogs. I cannot, however, understand how
she even was elected to the Cardiff School Board. When she spoke to a local civic group I was
in the audience and my immediate reaction was, ‘there is no there . . .
there.’ Seldom have I been less
impressed with a candidate than her.
She offered pollyanna suggestions embracing motherhood, apple pie
and flag waving - but no pragmatic plans or proposals to meet our nation’s
ills. In my not so humble opinion this
very nice lady has zero business running for Congress.
Which brings us back to Bilbray, Morrow and Kaloogian.
We’ve already commented on Kaloogian. Let us
turn to Bilbray and Morrow.
Bilbray has invaluable experience that
would allow him to ‘hit the boards running,’ were he to be elected. He is a moderate Republican with a record of
problem solving at the city, county, and federal level.
He is a fiscal conservative and a
strong and pragmatic spokesman for a realistic solution to the illegal
immigration problem, urging forgery proof worker documents and severe employer
sanctions for companies that hire illegal aliens.
Bill Morrow is an attractive
candidate. He’s done an excellent job at
the state senate level. He is also a
strong conservative, expresses strong support for measures to curb illegal
immigration, including stationing our military forces there; at a minimum our
state National Guard. He is a good, strong candidate with excellent
credentials. We would be quite happy if
he were to be elected to Congress. At
this point, however, we give the probable nod to Brian Bilbray.
Jack Orr, respected North
San Diego County political consultant, also sees it as Bilbray, Morrow and Kaloogian, in that order.
It is, however, up to you, the
voter. And April 11th is not far away. Vote well. Vote wisely.
Our future is in your hands.