Powder Blue Report

News, finance, politics, sports, and fun from the west coast

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Thoughts On Scott Baugh's Speech Tonight

The OC GOP Central Committee heard a rousing speech tonight by our Chairman, Scott Baugh.  I want to go through it with the readers and give some of my thoughts about how we will all hold him accountable to his own words (my thoughts will be in italics below the lines of speech I am commenting on).

Ladies and Gentlemen:

This is a very difficult speech to give because it involves an introspective look at our own party and what I see are some very disturbing truths.  They are so disturbing in fact that I considered not continuing as your Chairman. Instead, I decided to share my thoughts and my convictions that we must chart a new course for our party, our communities, our state and this nation.  

Good start 

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”  Tonight, we should all fear for our country.  While we don’t face the guns, death and sacrifice that confronted our forefathers, we face something far more insidious – a decay and destruction of our liberties.  This decay comes from an enemy within which makes it difficult to confront.  Unfortunately, this decay comes in part by Republicans who have played a significant role in the advancement of a progressive agenda in this country.  The decay is eroding our most fundamental values and must be stopped.

The names of George Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger come to my mind as well as certain legislators i.e. Abel Maldonado, Anthony Adams, Roger Niello, Mike Villines, etc

Our state is severely broken.  We face a badly damaged country run by political parties, unions and corporations that are stealing any hope of a bright future from our children.  But we do not despair.  In all things we have choices. 

 It was 46 years ago.  Citizen Ronald Reagan delivered a speech about choices.  In that speech he spoke of excessive federal spending.  He spoke of whether we believe in self-governance.  He spoke of whether elitists in a distant capitol can plan our lives better that we can.  He spoke of -- everything we are facing today.  He called the speech, “A Time for Choosing.”   In the face of some very disturbing facts, and a generation later, we now face our own time for choosing.   

This was a great Reagan speech.  We should follow his advice of "trust but verify".  Many words and promises have been made in the past.  We are going to hold the Chairman and the entire Executive Committee of the party accountable for these words.

Our country is 13 trillion dollars in debt.  We will add one trillion dollars in new debt each year in the foreseeable future.  Worse yet, there are no consequences for failure.  We have a bailout, a loan or an economic stimulus for anything that fails the test of the free market.  Let me repeat.  We have a bailout, a loan or an economic stimulus for anything that fails the test of the free market.

Again there are certain legislators right here in Orange County that won't pass these new standards because they supported the massive trillion dollar TARP bailout.  In fact one of them was going to receive our coveted "Legislator of the Year" award, but I digress.

We are the most irresponsible generation this country has ever known with nearly 120 trillion dollars in debt, unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities.  This is $400,000 for every man, woman and child in this country.  How do we defend or explain this – particularly to those who had no part in the creation of these obligations?

How do we defend this?  Answer: we can't

Sadly, our generation is creating indentured servants of our children and of children yet to be born.  We make no sacrifices and take no responsibility.  We only consume and borrow and then consume more.  We are the first generation in the history of this country that has actually chosen not to sacrifice on behalf of future generations.  This is unconscionable and immoral.

ditto unconscionable and immoral

In contrast, my grandfather was part of the greatest generation.  He was frugal.  He never asked for anything and certainly never bragged about anything.  Yet he had so much to brag about.  He was a decorated World War II hero who was at the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge where 19,000 fellow American soldiers died.  He did tours of duty throughout Europe, Asia and Africa.  He bled for our country and he walked away with numerous commendations, including a bronze star and a purple heart.  I learned of his heroics only after death when he was 86.  I asked my grandmother why she never told me.  She replied that she never knew.  You see, my grandfather believed his service was nothing more than a duty to be performed and not talked about.  How is it that his generation was so great and we have become so selfish, narcissistic and dependent?   

These are good questions

Our fifty states are in no better shape than our country with two trillion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities.   Why?  Because we allow public employees to retire at 50 or 55 with pensions ranging from $100,000 to as high as $250,000 -- guaranteed for life!  And, with trillions of dollars in bonded indebtedness, some of our 50 states are flirting with bankruptcy.  California is leading the charge.  We have ½ trillion dollars in debt – and we are still asking for more.

It might be to late to save CA and the nation from insolvency and bankruptcy

You would think that after running up this massive debt our politicians would stop spending and living beyond our means, but they don’t.  They are addicted to power and spending.  They will say and do anything to keep feeding their addictions.  How often do you hear our politicians say they are fiscally prudent and then vote for more spending? 

we hear it all to often

This is not to say that all politicians are bad.  We have many honorable elected representatives and patriots in Washington and Sacramento today.  I do mean to say, however, that the spending addictions we see in Washington, Sacramento and in cities throughout Orange County know no party affiliation. 

It's worse for our party because we are supposed to be the party of fiscal restrait and discipline.  We have lost all believability and credibility on fiscal issues.

Many Republicans have been just as guilty as Democrats.  In point of fact, under George Bush’s presidency – with a Republican Congress for six of those years – our government grew, entitlements expanded, and our national debt was nearly doubled!  This is a very inconvenient truth.  And, this is precisely why a recent Rasmussen poll revealed that 75% of registered Republican voters believe elected Republicans are out of touch.

In defense of their spending, I often hear Republicans say that we just need to understand their votes represent the best deal they could get.  I know.  I’ve been there before when I was in the legislature.  I, too, cast some bad votes.  Confession of a bad vote is healthy and redeeming.  But to simply say that “we don’t understand” is condescending to the people who vote them into office.  I don’t need to “understand” your votes if my liberties are reduced while progressive policies are advanced. 

I hear this a lot too.  Well Allan you just don't understand how things are done up here or back in DC. 

Elected representatives are our public servants; they are not our public masters.  The problem is that they often become isolated from their constituents; yet, in their arrogance and in the intoxication of capitol politics they claim that they know what’s best for their constituents.  It is time they represented “we the people” and stop pursuing their self-interests with preservation of their public office being their top priority.

Our elected officials work for us and not the other way around.  They better start remembering this truism.

Unfortunately, we as party officials share in the blame because we failed to confront the duplicity of Republicans who claim to be for limited government and then vote for ballooning debts and increased spending.  The question is whether we have the resolve to change this status quo. As a country we have been here before and we know what to do. 

After King George passed The Tea Act of 1773, the American colonists dump 342 chest of tea in to the sea.  In response, King George passed The Coercive Acts in 1774 to strengthen British rule.  These acts were dubbed The Intolerable Acts by the colonists, and led to the first American Revolution.

A massive Tea Party is brewing this November.  

Ladies and gentlemen – look to our nation’s capitol.  The $800 billion Stimulus bill that no one read, the Health Care bill that Americans do not want, and the Cap & Trade bill that no one can afford are The Intolerable Acts of our day!

It is time for a Second American Revolution.


Thomas Jefferson said: “When governments fear the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny.”  You need to know that your government and most of your elected representatives do not fear you.  That’s why they don’t even flinch when they vote for the Intolerable Acts of our day like failed stimulus packages and certain to fail health care packages.

I love this quote from Thomas Jefferson.  Oh and yes it's obvious that our representatives don't fear us.  

Our Second American Revolution can only succeed if it obtains its energy from leaders like you here tonight.  We cannot count on our elected Republican leadership.  I don’t hear from them that they want a revolution.  I don’t hear from them that they want to restore our liberties.  I only hear they want their power back.  What will they do with it?

The only reason to vote Republicans back in power IMO is to hope for gridlock/be a check on the socialist Obama Presidency.  I know for a fact that our DC leaders have not learned their lessons. 

I don’t just want “Republicans” back in power.  I want Republicans who are reformers in power.  Having Republicans back in power simply because Democrats have failed in their social experiments is not good enough.  What have we accomplished if Democrats and Republicans trade power every few years while we slide into irreversible decline?

Let me be very clear about Democrats.  I don’t want Democrats in power at all.  The Democrats in Washington today -- from the President down to the members of Congress -- are engaged in a wholesale change of the American landscape that is designed to permanently eliminate our liberty in exchange for their ideal view of the world. 

I think all Republicans will stipulate that 99.9% of Democrats are bad.

Here in California we are dominated by a coalition of liberals who engage in rank hypocrisy in the pursuit of their utopian world.  They claim they are business friendly while they heap on taxes and regulations that drive business out of this state.  They claim they want affordable housing while they prevent new construction with environmental terrorism.  They claim they want money for the blind, the disabled, and for school children, yet they routinely bestow more benefits on public employees that are draining our public coffers. 

 Unfortunately, as bad as these Democratic policies are, we have higher taxes and more debt today because year after year Republicans provide the margin of votes to make it happen.  This unholy alliance is destroying our state and our country.  Moreover, it undermines our justification as a party for public support. 

So true.  Prime example is all six Republicans that voted for more taxes here in CA last year.

It is this very real threat to our liberties by this coalition of liberals and accommodating Republicans that makes it imperative for us to clean up our own house, restore our credibility with the voters, and to put this country back on the path of self governance.  What good is a big tent if the tent is so big that it collapses the very principles that we hold dear?  Abigail Adams stated in 1812 that, “A house divided against itself – and upon that foundation do our enemies build their hopes of subduing us.”  

 We need to understand the proper purpose of a political party.  The purpose is not the raw accumulation of power and technical majorities.  Its purpose is to gain a majority in order to implement policies articulated in its platform.   Therefore, we in this party, and in party organizations throughout this country, will only succeed if we fundamentally change the relationship between the members of our Central Committees and the candidates and officeholders who we support. We can no longer support a paradigm where we automatically endorse the product but have no say in the condition or quality of that product.  We no longer have the luxury of merely registering voters and getting them out to vote – this is unsustainable and with your help – THIS ENDS TONIGHT.

I really want to believe this, but we will see going forward real fast if we are serious about these words.

Your call to action tonight is to meet with your local, state and federal elected representatives.  Your call to action is to challenge your representatives when they stray from the path of limited government.  Your call to action, quite simply, is to hold them accountable to the limited government platforms that they campaigned on.

So, whether the elected Republican is in Washington chasing pork laden earmarks lacking in transparency and voting for a greater role in government, or in Sacramento supporting higher taxes and bloated bonds for water and stem cell research, or in Orange County voting for outrageous public employee benefits – you will no longer find automatic sanctuary in this party.  We will hold you accountable and your protection ENDS TONIGHT.

good red meat applause line

And, if you are a candidate seeking an endorsement or support from this party, the standard for support will not be whether you garnered enough votes in this body by hiring slick consultants and cashing in on friendships. 

Whoa!  Now were talking.  I've learned a sad fact that a few GOP political consultants have way to much power and influence over what goes on here in OC.  Glad to hear we are cutting them off....alledgedly. 

The standard will be whether you have a proven commitment to limited government, because I am tired of politicians who campaign based on the advice of consultants rather than the conviction of their hearts.  I am tired of politicians who have no vision for liberty and no unqualified commitment to its protection.  I am tired of politicians who want to occupy a seat of power but do doing nothing to advance the cause of liberty.


For example, I don’t want to see Republicans voting the so-called right way on the pension issues facing us today.    I want to see Republicans taking political risks by offering pro-active solutions that include creating two or three tier pension systems that would allow us to get our books back in order.  For our electeds this means risk and political courage to place your principles above your office, because some unions in this county are threatening city council members who dare to address this problem.

Public Employee Unions are evil.  Agreed

The rest of us must return to the concept of sacrifice as embodied by our founding fathers and carried on by generations that followed.  I’m not talking about the sacrifice of wounds, loss of limb and death that so many of our honored men and women endured in defense of this country.  For most of us this is not the type of sacrifice that we face.  But, we do owe it to these brave soldiers to honor their sacrifice by giving up some of our comforts and securities in order to leave a better and stronger nation for future generations. 

We can honor their sacrifice by giving resources that we have.  For some of us it is money.  For many of us it is time stuffing envelopes, walking precincts or making telephone calls.  But, we need more than time and money.  We need your talent, your ideas and your solutions.  We need your technology and communication skills – whatever your asset is, we are asking you tonight to engage -- and measure your sacrifice in this Second American Revolution.

This sounds great.  Where do I sign up?

In addition to our duties as Central Committee members, I am asking you tonight to decide if you have a calling for public office.  There will be no incumbent Republican protected who is not like minded in the spirit and word of this speech tonight.  As Chairman of this party, the doors are open – will you walk through them?

The reason that I asked you to walk through these doors is because even here in conservative Orange County electing people with an “R” behind their name has not yielded freedom based outcomes.  There is no clearer illustration of this than the abuses we have seen with public employee unions.

I hope good liberty minded candidates will step up this election and run

Most of you tonight are not offered a pension plan from your employer at all.  Some of you receive a modest contribution from your employer in the range of 3-5%.  A rare and extremely generous employer may contribute 15% of your salary towards your retirement.  Compare your situation with public safety workers in Orange County – you the taxpayers are currently contributing 51% of payroll to their pensions.  If you think that is bad, in 2014 the contribution will be astounding 84% of payroll.  To illustrate, if somebody is making $100,000, our county will have to pay an additional $84,000 just to cover the cost of their pension.  

Pensions are unsustainable at the rate we are going.  Something has to give.

It is no surprise that Democrat Willie Brown – the former speaker of the State Legislature and former Mayor of San Francisco – recently stated,

“…at some point, someone is going to have to get honest about the fact that 80 percent of the state, county and city budget deficits [in California] are due to employee costs.”

That time is now. 

So, taking a moment to be specific about what we can do here locally to address this imbalance, I am proposing for this Central Committee a couple minimum standards for candidates in order to obtain support from our party. 

We're listening....

First, no candidate will be supported by this party who does not endorse and help pass the Paycheck Protection initiative. 

Excellent idea.

The Paycheck Protection Initiative is a policy rooted in freedom.  It will not in and of itself solve our problems here in California but it will cut the money flow that is used to produce such imbalances in the way Sacramento functions.

Millions of dollars that union bosses spend each year on initiatives and candidate support are nothing more than stolen money from the rank and file.  Whenever the union bosses need more money for their agenda, they don’t ask the employees if they will contribute.  No, they simply deduct if from their paychecks.  Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.”

With your help, we can end this tyrannical practice.

I'm ready to help charge this hill if we really mean it.

The second item I want to propose tonight as a minimum standard for our support is that no candidate will be supported by this party who receives contributions from public employee unions.  If you have already taken their money -- give it back.  This proposed prohibition would not apply to money voluntarily donated by union members.  You see, union members are honorable, hard working and decent.  It is many but not all of the unions themselves and their empires that have a stranglehold on our political systems.    

I realize it is possible to take union money and vote against their relentless pursuit of the public purse, but far too many of our elected officials have taken their money or endorsements and then voted with the union bosses.  Occasionally, a bright line is necessary in order to restore balance.

These standards are near to impossible, but I'm open to see if this will work.  This is one area that we will find out right away if we are serious about all this talk.

In the coming months, we as a Central Committee can work on other ideas and standards for local, state and federal offices that will help put us on the right path. 

But in the meantime and in closing, I want you to see that the abuses in our local, state and federal governments are too great to ignore.  They are leading to our demise. 

On April 19, 1775, a small group of 77 alarmed citizens fought the first battle of the American Revolution in the fields of Lexington and Concord Massachusetts.  235 years later, the first battle of the Second American Revolution will be fought in that same state.  Tomorrow, the citizens of Massachusetts will vote on the people’s seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy.  An unknown, under-funded, underdog, Scott Brown, has shaken the foundation of every liberal Democrat in that state by threatening to do the impossible – taking the so-called “Kennedy Seat” away from them.

I hope Scott Brown wins as well tomorrow if for no other reason than he says he will be the 41st vote to uphold the fillibuster against Obamacare.

Folks, those 77 daring patriots did not win the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Like Scott Brown, they faced overwhelming odds – 700 British Redcoats and 1,700 reinforcements. But, the Patriots gave them a beating that was only a sign of things to come.

Tonight I want to take you back to the beginning of my remarks and refer you once again to the indelible words of Thomas Paine:

These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.  Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.  What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.  Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.

What will your role be in the Second American Revolution?  Will you be a summer soldier - a sunshine patriot?  Or, will you give sacrificially in order to restore this country to Freedom? 

Let’s move forward together.

This was definitely a great speech by Chairman Baugh.  We need to trust him, but verify that he means what he says.  I'm ready to back him up for these ideas if he is serious and so should the rest of the Central Committee.