Today, at 5:30 p.m., a moderate Republican group that calls itself “the New Majority” will be hosting a debate in Costa Mesa between GOP gubernatorial candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner.
That’s the good news.
However, since the recent Steve Poizner TV ads, in which he uses the words “illegal aliens” by declaring war on the undocumented, he wants to make this match-up a re-run of that old “Saturday Night Live” sketch featuring Billy Crystal as the “you-rook-mahvelous” character. In the 1982 sketch, David Susskind host the battle between Fernando Lamas or Ricardo Montalban and he asks: Who is more macho?
Now, Poizner and Whitman are arguing who is tougher (more macho) on the issue of illegal immigrants. In his ads, Poizner says he will “save the state billions by cutting taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal aliens.” He also told the press he would “yank illegal immigrants from schools” and even send the “CHP to the border” to enforce illegal immigration.
Memo to the desperate Steve Poizner: Wasn’t this tried under Prop. 187, which was thrown out by the courts?
Also, doesn’t this kind of illegal immigrant bashing hurt Republicans who run for state office? That was what hurt Gov. Pete Wilson when he tried to run for re-election. It also turned numerous GOP voters against Republican candidates in almost every statewide election in California since then.
But this is a desperate Poizner trying to appeal to conservatives who will vote in a Republican primary. Even if he wins the primary (he is 30 points behind Whitman in the polls), it will be tough sledding to win a statewide race after taking this kind of stand.
Even most Republican lawmakers disagree with this hate-filled position.
Hector Barajas, the former state Republican Party communications director who now is working for Whitman, and was a frequent contributor to the SGVN opinion pages, made this statement: “To introduce himself in this way, by trying to divide and attack our community, marks the end of the Poizner campaign.”
I would hate to see what those Republican-supporting businessmen and businesswomen (those who own restaurants, or farms, agriculture, etc.) think of Poizner’s approach to illegal immigration.
They might not think he was so macho.