Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | August 02, 2002

Simon in deep trouble

The Republican gubernatorial candidate from California is suddenly radioactive, as his big donors and the Bush Administration keep clear of Simon in the wake of the $65 million fraud verdict against an investment firm he cofounded.

Simon has lamely attacked the verdict as politically motivated. But no one is buying it, definitely not his donors or the national Republican Party. In fact, Bush is reassessing plans to make three campaign visits to the state on behalf of simon, while his fundraising totals are down by two-thirds the past month.

Bush, especially, now faces an interesting predicament:

If he doesn't go [to California], conservatives will scream foul and Simon supporters will say the president promised to help him and broke his word [...] If he goes, then the president has painted a target on his forehead for Democrats to say he talks about punishing white-collar criminals and corporate executives who commit fraud, but raises money for them.
The irony, of course, is that Davis is despised by Californians. A Riordian/Davis contest would've been no match. Yet the GOP quest for ideological purity has foisted a despicable choice on the California people. A SF Weekly columnist put it succintly:
A sleazy right-wing loony named Bill Simon is running against an equally sleazy, visionless fund-raising savant named Gray Davis.
On Gray Davis:
The most important ramification of Davis' fund-raising expertise is his policy agenda: He has none, apparently by design. To remain a tabula rasa for the wishes of campaign contributors, our governor has created an apparent miracle: He's a politician with no discernible forward vision whatsoever. In place of attempting to realize such a vision, Gray Davis spends his energies seeking the perfect balance between benefiting campaign contributors and pandering to voters.
On Simon:
As horrid as Gray Davis might be, the incredible lightness of being gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon cannot be exaggerated. If we Californians are willing to elect a tax cheat whose dodges earned him a front-page spot in the Wall Street Journal, we're fools. If we support a wealthy scion who runs his family foundation as a revenue-producing tax-evasion scheme, we're ingénues. If we elect a man who has boasted on the radio about his eagerness to curtail government services for Hispanic immigrants, then lamely rescinded the boasts during the gubernatorial campaign -- may God save our mortal collective soul.

Posted August 02, 2002 09:12 AM | Comments (2)


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