Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mr. Haynes, Some Guy Named Hudson, and the CRA

This just came over the Reep transom I guess and was forwarded to me. It seems Mr. Hudson (the author of the e-mail below) is a Ray Haynes apologist. Well so be it - what do I care.

Then again, this is good stuff (I think) worthy of posting in the primarily GOP blogosphere known as Hack N Flak. Reactions?

Subject: CRA Endorsement for Ray Haynes -- I need your help

Dear CRA Leader,

I am writing to ask you to support the endorsement of Ray Haynes for Board of Equalization in the Third District. As you may know, we amended our CRA Bylaws several years ago to allow the full Convention to vote on this endorsement. Even though the Third District covers just six counties, we treat it as a statewide endorsement.

I have known Ray Haynes and worked with him on conservative efforts since 1992. I was employed by him for more than three years when he was the Senate Republican Whip. In a Legislature where CRA leaders are often treated as pariahs, even by Republicans, Ray Haynes has hired many CRA Board members, members, and volunteers. I worked closely with him (and the California Republican Assembly) to pass the "Haynes Amendment" to change the way delegates are selected for the Republican National Convention, making it much more difficult for future Presidential candidates to ignore our state. For every single conservative effort, Ray Haynes has been there for CRA and the Conservative Movement when his opponents were nowhere to be found.

Now that I work as a Tax Counsel for Bill Leonard at the Board of Equalization, I am in a unique position to explain why we need a conservative attorney like Ray Haynes. The Board of Equalization is our elected tax appeals commission and it resolves tax disputes for nearly every tax program in California. Simple tax problems are normally resolved long before they reach the Board, so Board members have to hear the most complicated and "screwed up" cases you can imagine, including many cases where both the government and the taxpayer made mistakes. Unlike many of our state's constitutional offices, Board members are forced to make thousands and thousands of tough decisions each year, sometimes with little opportunity for advice from expert staff. This is not an entry-level position! Ray Haynes is perfect for the job because he is the ultimate "detail person" who will focus on technicalities, arcane rules, and the particular facts of each case, while never losing sight of the "big picture," taxpayers' rights, and the long-term goals of the Conservative Movement. He and Bill Leonard would make a perfect Republican team for the Board of Equalization (and Bill Leonard has endorsed him).

Lately, it seems the only argument I hear against Ray Haynes is that he began dating a Capitol staffer after his wife divorced him a couple of years ago. The people spreading this rumor are insinuating that there is something wrong with that, but I know the people involved and I fear we CRA leaders are being manipulated -- again.
Divorces are a terrible thing and it is awful that his family had to go through that, but please keep in mind that Ray Haynes has not done anything illegal, immoral, or improper. I have devoted the last 20 years to Republican politics and I can assure you that Ray Haynes stands out as one of the most ethical, honest, and Christian politicians I have ever met. He is not perfect, but none of us are perfect either. If you are inclined to vote against endorsing Ray Haynes because of this issue, you really need to ask yourself how much you know about the other candidates in this race and their personal lives. Please don't allow yourself to be manipulated by high-paid consultants who devised this strategy as the only practical way to undermine Ray Haynes' well-established conservative credentials.

In closing, I need to mention a special problem in this race that we conservatives seem to face every two years. There are two conservative candidates in the Republican primary (Michelle Steel and Ray Haynes), plus a more liberal Republican tax auditor for the Board of Equalization (Steve Petruzzo) who is rumored to have strong support from the powerful labor unions that steal money from state workers' paychecks every month. I am not a member of any union and I cannot pretend to know how they will spend their money, but I fear that we conservatives may "split the vote" among two good candidates and allow the most liberal candidate to get elected with heavy union support. As you all know, we have a habit of doing that. Please don't let that happen in this race!

Thank you for your consideration! Please let me know if you have any questions. I realize that normal people don't spend a lot of time worrying about the Board of Equalization, but I can assure you that the Board has a tremendous impact on tax policy, taxpayer rights, and the business climate in our state. We cannot afford NOT to pay attention to this race.

Tom Hudson
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