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In a New York Minute…Everything Can Change

With apologies to Don Henley, the dynamics of the 2010 US Senate election campaigns have changed in a New York Minute for State Rep. Chuck DeVore.

DeVore now has a primary to worry about in his Quixotic bid to replace Senator Barbara Boxer.  Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina has taken steps to declare her candidacy for Senate while Al Ramirez, a Texas transplant based in Los Angeles also plans to take a shot at running.

Now Chuck will argue he has a number of endorsements locked up from elected California Republicans, but that can all change in a New York Minute too.  After all, there’s one thing Republicans cherish more than adhering to their principles and that’s winning elections. 

If principles mattered more, than Governor Tom McClintock would be battling the Legislature now (not that McClintock would have been elected in 2006, but that’s another story).  But Republicans backed Arnold Schwarzenegger instead.  Because he was a winner and Arnold spent much of his time being the RINO he is.

Fiorina is famous for a gaffe stating that neither Sarah Palin or John McCain would be able to run a major U.S. corporation, and while she tried to add President Obama and Vice President Biden to that list, her immediate future appearances as a McCain spokesperson were abruptly cancelled.  Damaging?  Yes, but I don’t see Carly spending her time making YouTube videos to parody Don Henley songs to use as fundraising fodder.

What Carly does bring to the table is money; lots of it.  More than Chuck can hope to raise in $35K increments every month.  Republicans love winners and Carly, by virture of her deep pockets.  If Chuck is able to pull out a primary victory here, you might has well give the election to Boxer because a DeVore victory means moderates, independents and DTSers will likely gravitate back to Boxer.

Chuck is already bringing out the big guns against Carly with a press release issued yesterday.  The release states:

Assemblyman DeVore said, “She’s in, as we’ve expected for months, and already she’s showing her colors, hiring a Hollywood PR firm and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chief moneyman.” Fiorina has already engaged Strategic Perception, Inc., the Hollywood, CA-based business that was the “Chief Creative Consultant” for Senator John McCain’s 2008 presidential run.

“I don’t expect to see Fiorina out talking to the grassroots, taking her case personally to concerned voters,” DeVore added. DeVore has already made 113 appearances to more than 20,000 voters since declaring his candidacy last November. He has garnered support from some 8,000 donors and 58% of California’s elected Republicans, including Congressman Tom McClintock.

“This campaign won’t be decided by slick ads from a Hollywood PR firm, nor by retreads from the ’08 McCain campaign, nor by the D.C. party establishment that gave up on California years ago,” DeVore said, “Rather, this campaign will turn on the hearts and minds of working Californians who want to see and speak with the candidates who ask for their votes.”

DeVore’s campaign noted that Fiorina’s views on issues are unclear, and her background makes her an inviting target for liberal senator Barbara Boxer. Fiorina’s public record stands in stark contrast to DeVore’s:

• Media reports have variously described Fiorina as moderate or conservative, having been silent on all of California’s major political battles of the past decade. DeVore has a proven 5-year voting record on the issues that matter to Republican primary voters and has been an active conservative for 28 years. (a winning stratgey for the general election, wouldn’t you say?-Lib OC comment)

• The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Fiorina didn’t bother to vote in 13 of the last 18 elections. DeVore has never missed an election.

• Fiorina was a high-profile supporter of the financial bailout which kick-started President Obama’s new era of big government with trillion dollar deficits. DeVore opposed the bailout. (The initial stimulus proposed and passed by the Bush Administration-LibOC comment)

• Fiorina supported the stimulus, so long as the high tech industry got its share of the corporate welfare. DeVore opposed Obama’s stimulus-by-debt. (too bad the first stimulus-by-debt initiatives were proposed and passed by the Bush Administration.– comment by LibOC)

• According to a 2004 Forbes article, “Trading With The Enemy,” Hewlett-Packard under Fiorina set up an office in Dubai to sell electronic contraband to Iran to meet, “[s]trong demand for ‘anything high tech for military or oil services.’” DeVore is a 24-year Army intelligence veteran who has traveled extensively in the Middle East.

DeVore also served as a Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs under President Reagan’s Defense Secretary, Caspar Weinberger. 

Interesting that Chuck bring up Cap Weinberger. The late Defense Secretary was pardoned by outgoing President George H.W. Bush for his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair that involved the secret sale of weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by pro-Iranian terrorists (so much for not negotiating with terrorists!).  The money was then diverted to support for anti-communist resistance “freedom” fighters in Nicaragua known as the “Contras” who commited their own share of atrocities against civilians like nuns. 

Weinberger was charged with four counts of lying to congressional Iran-Contra investigators in 1987 and to federal prosecutors in 1990. He was allegded to have concealed his personal notes that detailed events related to Iran-Contra that undermined what Ronald Reagan said about the arms-for-hostages dealings.   It highest profile pardon of its kind since President Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon — a pardon of a person received before an actual trial and conviction.

So what did Chuck know and when did he know it?