The vision thing

Robert Woods is the Democratic candidate for the 3rd Assembly District

Tom Gascoyne, editor of the very successful Chico News & Review, chose not to endorse my candidacy for Third Assembly District representative in the California Legislature. Indeed, he endorsed my conservative opponent, Rick Keene. That is certainly Tom’s prerogative. Having read his fine articles over the years, I have great respect for his writing. But in my case his judgment is flawed. Has he no faith in his own beliefs?

In a speech long ago, George H. W. Bush, president of the United States, spoke of “the vision thing.” It was a vague concept to that President Bush, as it is to most Republicans. They do not see the future.

My opponent Rick Keene and his fellow legislators Doug LaMalfa and Sam Aanestad all suffer from political myopia. They lack “the vision thing.” Keene and Aanestad have both signed the Grover Norquist Tax Reform Pledge to “…oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

Sounds pretty good to most voters in these parts, but it does take an important tool of government off the table.

When Republican legislators see a problem, particularly for their moneyed constituents, they fix it. If it involves traffic coming out of the country club on Highway 99, they add another stoplight south of Chico. Always on the cheap, they are willing to impede traffic in perpetuity.

Democrats, on the other hand, envision the future. When President Bill Clinton saw a nationwide problem in law enforcement, he pledged to put “100,000 cops on the street,” and he did it in spite of a hostile Congress. When Franklin Roosevelt saw a destitute nation in need of energy sources after years of Republican money-grubbing, he put people to work building dams for hydroelectric power. And when John Kennedy saw the Soviet Union emerging as the dominant power in space technology, he pledged to put a man on the moon in 10 years and put the resources in place to accomplish the task.

So, Mr. Gascoyne, don’t look for vision from Rick Keene, Doug LaMalfa, Sam Aanestad or George W. Bush. They’ve already shown us their limited vision that ends with dollar signs. If you want someone with a vision of better world of the future, you must look toward the Democratic Party and the vision that is consistent with Democratic leaders. If your desire is to reverse the current trend of borrowing to conduct government, you’d be better off endorsing my candidacy. I will work for pay-as-you-go government in Sacramento. California’s economic engine is well able to pay for what is needed. All that is required is a fair system of taxation.