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Tom McClintock -- The Conscience of a Conservative?
by Bob Chandra
22 September 2003Tom McClintock

What kind of a conservative lets left-wing interests drive his candidacy?

In recent days, Tom McClintock, the "other Republican" in California's recall race, has accepted a million dollars spent on his behalf by a left-wing special interest group.  He has claimed that a Democrat victory in the recall election would be desirable, as it would better his chances in 2006.  And he has joined with Democrat Cruz Bustamante in a boycott against fellow Republican, Arnold Schwarzenegger.  This is the man we're supposed to believe represents the conscience of conservatism?  At the end of the day, Tom McClintock's Faustian Pact with the Left has made one thing clear -- it's all about Tom McClintock.

The $1 million to be spent on McClintock's behalf is by Indian gambling interests, a staunch Democratic special interest.  I wrote about the possibility of left-wing special interests backing McClintock in order to divide Republicans several weeks back.  Now it is a reality.  The Sacramento Bee has announced that the Morongo tribe is spending $1 million to boost McClintock's candidacy and it's not because they want him to win.  The money spent on McClintock is meant to split the Republican vote so their loyal servant, Democrat Cruz Bustamante, can emerge the winner.  With enough left-wing money, McClintock can steal enough votes from Arnold to make that happen.  Tom's win-at-any-cost mindset has him collaborating with leftist groups who want nothing more than a divided Right to throw the election to Bustamante.  Does McClintock see that the Left is using him?  Maybe there's a reason it's called "blind" ambition. 

McClintock's partnership with the liberal special interests raises serious questions about his loyalty to the GOP.  McClintock has said he puts his personal "principles" before the party.  But there's a deeper reason McClintock doesn't care that his spoiler candidacy will doom Republicans in the recall race.

In a conversation with US Congressman Dan Burton, Tom McClintock said the following: he (McClintock) didn't mind it if Democrats win the gubernatorial race because it could improve his own chances in 2006.  According to the Los Angeles Times, "Burton, one of the more conservative members of Congress, also said McClintock had seemed to suggest that it would be acceptable for a Democrat to hold the governor's office, because he might create a clamor for a Republican in 2006."  So that's what this is really about.  If McClintock can't win, he can at least prevent the Republicans from winning so he has a better shot in 2006.  Aren't we glad he's playing for our team?

McClintock is now collaborating with Cruz Bustamante to boycott the California Broadcasters Association's debate on the 24th as a means of showing up Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Bustamante led the boycott charge on October 17th and McClintock soon followed his lead.  When you see a Republican siding with a Democrat against a fellow Republican, you know something is wrong with the picture.  Don't adjust your set -- this is Tom McClintock, the self-styled conscience of conservatism.

As if things couldn't get any worse, McClintock is justifying his candidacy on a poll strategically conducted by the left-wing Los Angeles Times, which wants nothing more than to keep him in the race.  That Times poll has been debunked by Field and even invalidated by the Times' own reporting.  It added 6% more self-identified conservatives than other polls and naturally gave McClintock an artificial 5% bump.  But McClintock is clinging to this cooked poll, another leftist ploy, because it serves his interests. 

What kind of a conservative lets left-wing interests drive his candidacy like this?  The answer is a candidate who is so blind with ambition that he does not see how the Left is using him to their own ends.  Thus far, McClintock has claimed he stands for principle, but it is obvious that his hopeless candidacy is based on personal ambition.  It's no longer appropriate to view McClintock as merely a misguided crusader.  He is a bigger threat to Republican victory on Election Day than Cruz Bustamante.  Up until now, McClintock has responded to arguments for stepping aside with denial, delusion, and arrogance.  Given his collaboration with the Left, Republicans must get serious with him.  McClintock's "stalking horse" candidacy must come to an end.

Bob Chandra is a Bay Area Republican activist and writer

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