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Angelides invokes victory of Harry Truman
in San Francisco rally of Democratic faithful

Phil Angelides pledges return to a California which shares Democratic ideals, joined at right by Democratic National Party chairman Howard Dean, right, and Democratic State Party chairman Art Torres.
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy

August 12, 2006

Democratic Party choice for California governor invoked the name of come-from-behind Harry Truman in San Francisco yesterday in a rally studded with Democratic luminaries.

National Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean introduced candidate Phil Angelides in a union hall chosen as "the rightful home of the Democratic Party" and drawing stark differences between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Angelides.

Party state chairman Art Torres joined the shoulder-to-shoulder platform of Democratic major office holders to emcee the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Hall 11:30 a.m. rally filled with party faithful.

Angelides acknowledged his uphill quest for the governor's seat.

"The bell just went off for the 11th round of this fight. I got up off my stool, I came out, and I'm ready to score a knockout."

"And also, to quote Harry Truman, 'I will win this election and make the Republicans like it.'

"I'm a little battered. I'm a little bruised. I got a little cut over the eye but I am not a bleeder. I am a fighter. I've got a little work to do."

Democratic Party ideals will overcome incumbent Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's well financed campaign for re-election, foretold Angelides.

"The fact is that Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Bush team are not going to relinquish power easily," Angelides told supporters.

"And they're going to have, despite the fact that their agenda is a bankrupt as their Enron buddies, they're going to have tens of millions of dollars from oil companies and insurance companies and HMOs and drug companies to prop them up.

"But we have something more powerful and that's the power of our ideals."

Education is at the top of those ideals, he pledged.

"So I'm going to ask you to imagine with me and work with me for a California where once again making the education of our children our top priority.

"Where we have the best teachers and the smallest class size and everything our kids deserve regardless of financial abilities.

"To imagine with me and work with me for a California where the governor doesn't stand up for HMO profiteering but a governor who signs legislation to cover every child in this state to make sure they can see a doctor when they are sick."

Angelides asserted Schwarzenegger's campaign stance on immigration and civil rights is divisive.

"I am going to ask you to work with me and imagine in this state a governor who doesn't divide us on immigration or civil rights but a governor who stands up for liberty and justice for everyone in the great state of California.

"This election will be the clearest choice in a generation for California. We have a chance to stand up to the Bush-Schwarzenegger agenda of diminished opportunities, an agenda that favors the special interests over the interests of hard working families and we need to do it," continued Angelides.

A Schwarzenegger television ad depicting Angelides as moon-walking California backward into the past drew the Democratic candidate's own parody.

"You've probably seen these ads that are running.

"They have me going backwards doing the moon-walk.

"Well, let me ask you - do they mean we're going to take California back to a time when we had the best schools in the nation?

"Where we're going to take California back to time when we had the best public universities in the world?

"The walk that goes back to a time when families could work hard fulltime, support their kids with dignity, and retire with respect and security?

"We're going to take California back to the future!"

Party chairman Howard Dean, a former Vermont governor and past presidential contender, scored Schwarzenegger as amassing campaign funds from special interests.

"Arnold Schwarzenegger says he's against the special interests and last year in order to put his special interest legislation through he raised $100 million from HMOs, oil companies, and insurance companies," Dean maintained.

He joined Angelides in viewing the incumbent's campaign as divisive.

"The biggest difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is not the Iraq war, it's not the budget deficit, it's not the mess that was made in New Orleans by a president who didn't want to do anything about it in a timely manner.

"The biggest difference is that they believe dividing people is the right way to do it.

"Now 'those people,' George Bush's message is, 'those people, it is their fault.'

"It is gay people, it's immigrants, it's Democrats, it's liberals, it's Hollywood people.

"We believe that we are all in it together and the hallmark of Angelides and the hallmark of the Democratic Party is we understand who our boss is.

"Our boss is not just the people who elect us. Our boss is the people who voted against us too. We need to be together again. We need to work with everybody again because American needs to heal.

"Phil Angelides is a healer and a true principled leader, and Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't. If you want a real change in this country we have to stop trying to scare people in order to win elections."

Dean also challenged integrity of both Schwarzenegger and President Bush.

"The biggest difference of all is integrity," contended Dean.

"Name me a promise that has been kept. The budget deficit that devastated California is bigger than when Arnold Schwarzenegger took office. There is more special interest money washing around Sacramento than ever before.

"We need a governor with honesty. We need a governor with integrity. We need a governor who we will not always agree with but we will know he is doing the right thing for the right reason, which we will know is for the benefit of the people of the state of California - Phil Angelides."

Stakes are large in the November election, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom echoed.

California Assembly 13th District Assemblyman Mark Leno, left, joins California Assembly 12th District Assembly candidate Fiona Ma and Mayor Newsom in support for their party choice.

"It's our job as Democrats to people what's at stake in the state of California.

"It's our job as Democrats to remind people who Arnold Schwarzenneger really is and... I'm not sure he knows exactly.

"You should be proud, you should be very proud because we got the real deal in Phil Angelides. We don't have a guy who just came along on the issues of health care, on education and the environment, just got convinced based on some fancy polling of what he should believe.

"Here's a guy who's been with us, the values of the Party have been represented from the day this guy started getting involved in politics well before he became a politician," Newsom suggested.

In closing, Angelides predicted victory.

"We are going to work our hearts out over the next three months," insisted Angelides.

"We're not going to stand down. We're not going to retreat.

"We're going to stand up proudly for our Democratic values and come November 7 we're going to defeat Arnold Schwarzenegger and push California in a new direction."

Visit candidate websites for Phil Angelides and Arnold Schwarzenegger.




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