Our party today is the loyal opposition to a ruling party
that is taking more from your earnings than it has ever taken in
its history. It is delivering less than it has ever delivered in its
history. If that
isn’t a mandate for change, what in the world could it
The reason why minority parties have such a tough, tough
job is because they start – well, in the minority.
Maintaining the status quo is easy – but you don’t
need a minority party to do that.
That’s what the majority party is for.
To change the status quo, you must be able and willing to
maintain your vision and endure in the minority until the
necessity for change exceeds the natural resistance of an
electorate to change.
Such a day occurred in this state in November of 1966,
because Ronald Reagan understood that.
So what is the
necessity for political change today?
For openers, the California ISO
estimates that under the best of circumstances California will
be 6,000 megawatts short of power this August.
That means during the hottest hours of the hottest days
this summer, six million homes at a time could be without power.
For 27 years, this state has actively discouraged the
construction of new power plants, and the day has finally
arrived when we have run out of power.
Over a year ago, the utilities begged Gov. Davis to
intercede with his president of the PUC to allow them to buy
long-term power contracts at bargain prices.
He did nothing.
When the first crisis broke upon us last summer, Assembly
Republicans begged the Governor to call a special session while
there was still time to begin a crash program for power plant
On the day Gray Davis turned the Christmas lights off at
the Capitol, we had 2,600 megawatts of power sitting offline
solely because the generators had used up their air pollution
credits for the year. He
could have waived those regulations.
He did nothing.
As rolling blackouts threatened California, the
Democratic Interior Secretary, Bruce Babbitt, announced he was
diverting away from power production enough water from the
Trinity River to provide electricity for 350,000 homes to keep
the Democrats’ activists happy.
And Davis said nothing.
Instead, the Democrats have plunged our state into the
power business. So far, Gray Davis has lost more than two and a
half billion dollars in the last two months day-trading in
the electricity market from the corner office. That’s about $300 you can tack on to your power bill.
But that’s just the beginning.
The Democrats have voted to borrow $15 billion, with
another $10 billion pending.
In principal and interest, that means over $3,000 will be
added to the average ratepayers’ bill over the next few years,
without adding a single inch to our transmission lines or a
single watt to our electricity supply.
What is the Republican vision?
I can show you in Texas.
Texas is only 2/3 our size.
Yet in the last five years, Texas has added 5,300
megawatts of new power to its grid. We have added NOTHING. Texas
has 15 plants under construction.
We have 6. Texas
is currently processing applications for 35 more plants, we have
only 16, but it is not clear if any of them will actually go
forward, now that our Governor has threatened to seize their
assets and throw them in jail if they set foot in California.
Republicans have proposed a $500 per family tax rebate to
help families cope with the immediate price increases.
We have proposed using the Governor’s emergency powers
to suspend any regulation standing in the way of
new power generators entering California – just like Pete
Wilson did to rebuild the Santa Monica Freeway in 66 days.
We have proposed a program to resume the hydro-electric
expansion put forward by Governor Reagan in 1974, and then
scrapped by Jerry Brown.
But we are not the majority party.
All we can do is point the way to a future that can have
cheap, reliable, abundant and clean electricity for the next
generation, and hope that the public is ready to listen.
After what they’re about to go through, they will be.
But it only begins there.
For 26 years, the Democrats have waged war against
California motorists. We
bear the third heaviest taxes per vehicle in the nation, and yet
we’re dead last in our per capita spending for our roads.
In those 26 years, the miles driven by Californians have
increased by 116 percent. Our highway system has increased just 8 percent.
What is the Democrats’ program?
The Governor’s new CalTrans Director, whose nick-name
at CalTrans is “Adrianna Gianturco the Second” has
repeatedly and proudly announced that “The era of highway
construction in California is over.”
In a state where 95 percent of the people get to work in
their cars, less than a fifth of our transportation money will
be used for the state highways.
We have a different vision:
Restore our highway taxes to be used for our highways;
eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks to highway expansion on grid locked
stretches; end the double taxation of gasoline and
the car tax – not a dime of which is spent on our roads. In short, deliver what motorists are paying for and not
getting: a highway renaissance, offering every Californian high
speed, doorstep-to-doorstep, 24-hour a day on call service in
safety, comfort and convenience.
At the same time we stopped building power plants and
highways, we stopped building dams. We have not added a dam or
an aquaduct of any significance in more than a quarter century
-- while the population has nearly doubled.
The next drought will be devastating to this state – we
now store less than one year’s water consumption in the entire
state water system. Last
year, Governor Davis committed to $2 billion in water bonds –
without a dime to increase surface water storage or to harness
the limitless hydro-electric potential of this state.
page: What is the Republican vision?
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