Saturday, December 26, 2009
I believe strongly in reaching out to all my constituents. As a fluent Spanish speaker and wrote and did the voice over on this campaign ad myself as a way of trying to show my support for the Mexican community. We still have a lot of Spanish in California from when the state used to be Mexico and we must reach out to them to grow the Republican Party.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
To all my constituents in the 54th District and throughout the country, I wish to extend my warmest Christmas wishes to you and yours. While some of you may not be Christians, I feel perfect comfortable wishing you a Merry Christmas because Jesus saved all mankind and not simply Christians.
To Jews who celebrate Hannukah on the 25th, I wish you a blessed day on the most sacred day on the Jewish calendar. I think the fact that both Christianity and Judaism celebrate the exact same day says a lot. It is important we respect all religions as Christianity is not the only path to the light of Jesus Christ.
I know how truly blessed I am to be able to be a congressman for the greatest district in the greatest country in the world. In the year ahead, we must all make an effort to stand up and be counted. It doesn't matter if you have expensive clothes, or a fancy high school diploma, or even all your teeth. Until the Democrats in Congress and the White House hear from the everyday people in this country, they will continue to try and provide government health care and other services with our hard earned tax dollars. When the government gives it's people the most basic necessities of life, it can also take them away. This is what socialism is all about.
Have a joyous holiday and a blessed 2010. I will continue to try and fight the good fight in Washington, but we definitely need the help of the people back home if we are to put this country back on the right path it was on under President Bush.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The Kimbles of Rancho Podrido
Rancho Podrido was a great place to be born. The name in Spanish means beautiful oasis and it was named this by California’s first settlers because of it’s lush fertile fields and a curious odor from the wild flowers that grow in the area. Mom and dad still live there on the original property that my great great grandfather John Kimble first purchased in 1869. My great great grandfather who was a Vermont Yankee had gone down South to make his fortune after the Civil War helping to rebuild the Confederate states. He had done quite will for himself before a disagreement had sent him West.
When he arrived in California, he fell in love with a drink called the Martinez which was the forerunner of the modern martini. The drink called for an olive and for my grandfather, it was love at first sight. He immediately began growing olives on his property. Unfortunately, at this time olive pitting was still done by hand and it was extremely dangerous. Farm workers frequently lost their fingers in olive pitting accidents and loss of life was sadly not uncommon. In 1874, my great great grandfather changed all that with his invention of the Kimble Olive Pitter. That was the beginning for our family’s fortune and prosperity. When John Kimble died in 1915, his estate was valued at over $6,000,000.
With such a sizable fortune, it would have been very easy for the Kimbles to get complacent over the years, but there was always a compulsion towards not only building wealth, but towards service as well. After a large chunk of the Kimble fortune was lost in the Great Depression, my grandfather Warren and his brother Calvin built it right back up and then some through public service.
December 7, 1941 was a dark day for United States. With a surprise attack, the Japanese had thrusts us into the middle of World War II, but America responded. As Hitler told one of his aides, “we have awoken a sleeping giant.” California was put into a turmoil because many in the state felt that they were the next target of the Japanese. This led to incredible tensions between the regular people of California and the many hard working Japanese who lived there.
As you might imagine the Kimble men were at the forefront of public defense. They organized air-raid preparedness drills, sold war bonds, and led drives to bring in much needed rubber and scrap metal for the troops overseas. They lobbied hard to get the Japanese in California relocated to camps for their own safety as well as the safety of the normal residents. When the word came down that President Roosevelt had signed Executive Order 9066 mandating that all Japanese be placed in internment camps, Calvin and Warren celebrated. Still, they could not help but feel sorry for the many hard working and patriotic Japanese who risked losing everything. The Kimble men rode to the rescue. They bought the homes and businesses of countless Japanese people, giving them needed money for the camps while at the same time striking good bargains for themselves. By the end of the war, the Kimbles were one of the wealthiest families in California.
When my father was born, Joseph Kimble knew that the size of the family’s holdings would require him to work full time just to manage our own wealth. He knew this would close many doors to him, but he had dreams for his children. I have already mentioned his work with the Robert Barid Society, but he was involved with all aspects of the California government and was a personal friend of celebrities like Pat Boone and Anita Bryant. Still he hoped that one day, one of his sons would grow up to become President.
My mom Angela had been something of a beauty queen. She had competed in the Miss Corn Dog and the Miss Olive pageants, but the happiest day of her life she always told us was in 1956 when she won the Miss Quick Draw Pageant. It wasn’t as large as some of the other competitions my mom had entered in, but she was intrigued by the scoring which replaced the question segment of the contest with target shooting. It was at the gun show where she competed that she first met my dad. We may have gotten our love of politics and conservative values from my dad, but it was our mom who instilled in us our love of guns and our good looks.
Growing up, I had two brothers and one sister. Joe Jr. was the oldest Kimble and expected to be the one to go on to glory. He had movie star good looks and he was a straight A student while playing quarterback for the football team. Robert was my younger brother who was both brilliant and a terrible pest. My sister Gladys rounded out the family. I think she’s around my age. I know she was a couple of years ahead of me in school.
When it came to raising us boys, my parents followed one simple philosophy. Give children guidance, but let them make their own mistakes. My parents did not coddle. My father was so busy with his politics and his work and my mother was always so occupied with her social responsibilities and her Miltown and Librium. They simply refused to coddle us. They would let us do our own thing and then only get involved if there were problems or repercussions for our actions. I couldn’t count how many tough situations my dad got us out of by a shrug of his shoulders, a sigh, a “boys will be boys”, and an open check book.
Rancho Podrido was a sweet start in life. The weather can be brutal when driving rains and mud wash out Sutter Street or the fires in the hills threaten to encroach on the beautiful and pastoral landscapes of the town below. There is something special about the salty smell of the ocean air and the way it mixes with the fumes from the carpet factory in the autumn when contemplation is best. The sunsets are a bright and vibrant shade of burnt orange that exists nowhere else on the planet. My mother has been trying to dye her hair that color for 30 years, but it simply cannot be done.
When I think back to my childhood I remember walking by the town’s taverns with my brothers looking for drunks who had passed out so that we could poke them with a stick. I remember little league games and my father yelling at the coaches, umpire, and other parents. I remember Catholic School and arguing with the nun that taught math class that borrowing was a ridiculous concept when three minus five was negative two and borrowing would simply incur unneeded debt.
I shared a bedroom with my brother Robert while Joseph Jr. had his own bedroom and Gladys slept in a closet I think. Trying to get to bed with Robert around was nearly impossible. He would keep you up half the night with questions and then when you had just drifted off to the first moments of slumber, he’d have another question to ask and you’d never be able to get back to bed.
We didn’t have Little League in Rancho Podrido, but we did have baseball. After World War II, a farmer by the name of Charlie Pickens created 2 very nice baseball fields on his land and Pickens League baseball was started. When Charlie passed away in 1964, the town bought the land from his widow. By then Pickens League baseball was drawing 50 players every year between the ages of nine and twelve for a league. My older brother Joe had been a star pitcher for his team and led them to the championship in 1970 and 1971. Unfortunately, Bobby and I weren’t as talented as Joe was.
The four teams in our league were called The Braves, Indians, Red Skins, and Savages. They had originally all been sponsored by a cigar shop with an Indian motif. My team was the Savages and we were inept. Our coach was a nice man and a very positive role model named Frank Kraft. Unfortunately, Frank always seemed more interested in us learning how to do things the right way, exhibiting good sportsmanship, and having fun, that we were the laughing stock of the league. He refused to yell at his players no matter what they did. It got so bad, that fathers and the occasional mother in the stands would have to hold up the game to run out on the field and berate their own child. The whole time Frank is in the dug out yelling things like, “Good try Jeremy. You’ll get them next time.”
My dad tried to get Kraft to resign as coach without luck, but he wouldn’t budge. Fortunately, my father didn’t give up either. When my dad bought new uniforms for every team in the league, they agreed to let him be co-manager. Calling Frank Kraft and equal decision making partner with my dad would be like saying Dick Cheney consulted with President Bush on the tough decisions he had to make to run this country during his eight years as Vice-President. The truth is my dad had such a powerful personality that Kraft soon learned to keep himself occupied keeping score and redrawing the chalk lines on the base paths.
When my dad took over as manager, the first thing he did was to let my brother Bobby and I pitch. Frank Kraft had refused to let us pitch because we had trouble getting the ball anywhere near the plate, but my dad used that as a strength. He hired the 16 year old boys who umpired our games to work for him and immediately the calls in our games improved. Bobby and I soon became star pitchers in our own right as we found ways to pitch the ball where it would be called a strike, but where nobody could possibly reach it. I specialized in bouncing it in to home plate just under the hitters bat.
My dad was inspired by the way his own father had helped the Japanese-Americans in World War II to try to do something for the Mexican workers in his own fields. He believed that nothing could help Americanize the boys like the game of baseball could. I remember how shocked I was when five Mexican boys showed up at our field one day during practice. At first I thought they were there to mow the grass. These boys looked nothing like us. Their skin was a leathery brown from being in the hot sun all summer. Three of them were six feet tall. Two had mustaches. My dad informed me, “Mexican boys just mature faster.” At first there was a big stink created by the parents on other teams. This was my first experience with prejudice first hand. These were good kids, no different from me or my friends—only Mexican. Jorge was so in love with his new country that when he was drafted in June, he went to Vietnam instead of telling the draft board that he was only 11. We could have really used his bat for the championship.
Vinnie, Ivan, Guillermo, Ricardo, Bobby, and I won the championship in the summer of 1973. The season taught me that if you want anything bad enough you can achieve it through teamwork and cooperation. It taught me that losing is for losers and that any game worth competing in, is worth winning. Above all, it instilled in me the love of athletics and youth sports that I still have to this day.
I went to Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows Grammar School where discipline and academic excellence were the order of the day. Our Lady had a long tradition of excellence and fiscal conservatism which was refreshing to see in a religious school at the time. The school’s principal was Sister Agnes who had first joined the convent after breaking up with her fiancé at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. She stood less than five feet tall and she had to use a cane, which made a very effective weapon for intimidating unruly 8 year old boys like me. Being called into her office meant a hard grilling not just on what you did, but on your faith as well. I will always remember when I got in trouble for stealing from the missions, “Your crime Jack, isn’t that you stole a dollar, it’s that you wasted it,” she said, “What if you had bought four candy bars with that dollar and sold them for fifty cents each. You could have repaid the mission with interest and still kept a generous cut for yourself.”
In the 1960s and 1970s the Catholic Church was going through a very tough time trying to find its way after the sweeping changes of Vatican II. My father, in particular, was very freaked out by the priest now facing the congregation. He insisted for over a decade that our pastor was spying on him. Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows seemed very far removed from this new wave of change spreading through the Catholic Church like small pox through an Indian reservation. Economists nowadays would say that what the nuns taught us was supply side economics, but the term hadn’t even been invented yet. What they taught us was good old fashioned morals and a faith that the best way to help people and follow Jesus was not to throw money at poor people who in desperate times would simply be tempted to spend it all on booze. Instead, we should do what we could to help the responsible members of our community who owned businesses and would be able to hire the homeless if only we would lower the taxes these businessmen paid.
When I finally graduated grammar school in 1977, we had to go immediately after the ceremony to return our caps and gowns in the school gym. This also gave our teachers a chance to pass on that final pearl of wisdom to us before we went out into the world. I still remember talking to Sister Agnes after the ceremony.
“I’m proud of you Mr. Kimble,” said the diminutive nun.
“I’m proud of me too sister, but you don’t have to call me Mr. Kimble,” I responded.
She tilted her head, “You’re becoming a man Jack. I see big things in your future. I can see you as a member of the United States House of Representatives or even as President someday after an ineffectual, but groundbreaking Democrat suffers through a terrible one term administration.”
“Wow sister!” I said excitedly, “I don’t know if I could ever be a congressman. Those people are so smart.”
“You’re smart in your own way too Jack. The only reason your classmates said otherwise is because they were jealous of you. You have a very special kind of intelligence. I want you to do something for me,” she said.
I proudly told sister, “anything I can do for you sister, just name it.”
She responded, “You know, Jack I wasn’t always a nun. When I was but a young girl I had wanted to get married more than anything in the world. I met a very young boy from a very well to do family named Jonathan Cole. His family was very prosperous, but when the 16th amendment was passed, he no longer had enough money to marry me. I did the honorable thing and broke up with my Johnny to become a nun, but I still think back to what might have been.”
“I’m so sorry sister,” I said choking back my own tears.
“I don’t have many days left on this world Jack, but I’m asking you from the bottom of my heart, if you ever do become a congressman fight with all you’ve got to keep taxes low so that others won’t share my fate.”
“I will sister,” I promised with all my heart.
From that day on, I swore that if Sister Agnes believed in me, maybe I should consider a life in politics. My dad already seemed to be grooming my brother Joe as the family’s political hope. I mentioned my brother’s prowess on the baseball field, but as a junior at Heritage Valley High School, Joe was the starting quarterback on the football team and was just elected to become the Student Council President. Between the two of us, we would run things at that school. Joe would lead the student council, the football team, and the baseball team. I would lead the chess club, the audio-visual society, and the Teenage Republicans. Joe had the good looks of a young James Dean or Barry Williams and I couldn’t wait until I grew out of the awkward phase that I was stuck in. Joe promised me that it would happen soon enough.
Having a brother at the school made Heritage Valley High much less intimidating for me and a year later for Bobby too. Because there was no convenient Catholic School nearby, I also had a lot of friends follow me from Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow. Some of these boys like John E. Lee and Andrew Harding would prove important to my future life as well. Defending each other from a couple of members of the field hockey team determined to shove us into our own lockers wasn’t much different than defending each other against unsubstantiated Democrat political attacks or unwarranted FBI investigation.
The chess club is where I truly came into my own. Like many kids my age, I was caught up in the excitement of Bobby Fisher and when I heard the best players were from the Soviet Union, I was determined to do whatever it took to crush them. I often fantasized about being a famous chess player on a good will tour in Russia and using that cover to assassinate the Soviet leaders. Of course, that fantasy passed when Ronald Reagan liberated the Eastern Block from its Soviet Overlords.
My brothers were much better tacticians than I was. Bobby would plan 10 steps ahead when he played chess. I wasn’t equipped with anything close to their natural talents, but I once overheard my coach tell my dad that he’d never had another chess player work harder. Overhearing those words was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Maybe God didn’t give me a naturally tactical mind--other players were smarter, more creative, had better hygene—but I loved competition. I loved pushing myself sometimes even through pain to reach a goal. My gift was determination and resolve or actually I guess that’s really two gifts, but they’re gifts I’ve relied on ever since.. At the chess table I learned how to use a scowl, trash talking, or a sharp kick in the shins to take my opponent of his or her game. If I found out the student I would be competing against had just broken up with a girlfriend or had a parent pass away, I knew I was not going to lose that match. I was getting nearly as many accolades as a freshman chess prodigy as my brother Joe was getting from the athletic fields. That all changed on one horrible day July 17, 1978.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Andy Griffith is a Democrat?
It was the Corn Dog Festival in Hampton, August 2005 with the gray dilapidated water tower rising like Olympus above the House of Spaghetti. I breathed in a summer bouquet of corn dogs, elephant ears, and hard working Joes and Janes. The corn dog is the most Republican of foods. You take something delicious like a hot dog, but then you make it better by frying it and you put it on a stick so you can eat it while you work. That’s why corn dogs sell so well in red states like Texas.
As I walked through the park, I could breathe in the fragrant bouquet that the great melting pot of the golden state was cooking up on that afternoon. Foot-long hot dogs and cotton candy. Nachos and egg rolls. The toothless banjo players on the rugged wooden stage and the carnies—always the carnies, those descendants of the cowboys of the old West finding their manifest destiny hitched to the back of an old truck with a 30 year old tilt-a-whirl.
Inching through rivers of people like a salmon drawn to spawning grounds, I saw young carefree teenagers and a young couple holding a small homely baby. There were many older folks who had seen Hampton go from a small town of 3,800 in 1970 to its current size of nearly 14,500 today. These were good honest folk, the kind that America had been built on.
“Hey Jack! You sure love a good corn dog.”
“Oh wow Jack! You sure are ruggedly good looking in a sauce and sophisticated way.”
“When are you going to get into politics Jack? Isn’t it time you gave something back to the state?”
The sun was beginning to really beat down and I wiped the sweat from my brow thinking back to the long day’s on the family’s olive farm when the heat of the sun could turn your skin to leather. As I wound my way through the crowd, a high school dance troupe took the stage and the music began to blare much to the chagrin to the crowd of seniors who had been enjoying the banjo music. I stopped by the Right to Life booth where they were selling homemade fetus shaped butter cookies. I plunked down a dollar and took one of the cookies. As I ate it, I thought of how precious human life really is.
It also reminded me of how impatient I was with politics. I was so tired of politicians raising my taxes to pump up social programs for the people of California when there were so many people who were never born. Why wasn’t anybody doing anything for them? Politics were tricky. I was connected enough with grass roots conservatives that they all asked me when I was going to run for office, but I wasn’t connected enough with the state Republican Party that they’d ever endorse me for congress in the 54th District.
A friendly volunteer from the Robert Baird Society poked his head out of his booth and beckoned over to me. It had been over 40 years since my father had been one of the 12 founders of the group that helped lead the fight against world wide communism, fluoridation of drinking water, the infiltration of the civil rights movement by our country’s enemies, the domestication of cats, and the United Nations. I had hated that way that political machines and their pals in the media had distorted things to make the group seem irrational. I admired the brave volunteers who manned the booth knowing the jeering and heckling they would endure from liberal hippies who protested their goal of trying Bill Clinton for war crimes. If men like these were crackpots because they wore tinfoil underneath their baseball caps or bottled their own urine, then maybe we were all crackpots.
I couldn’t help wonder if I was a little nuts for opening myself up to the same kind of criticism my dad had. A run for public office would be difficult and not all my views were popular with the liberal elite. My father could have easily ignored the dangers of an emerging new world order and lived a happy and prosperous lifestyle. His grandfather’s invention of the Kimble Olive Pitter and our land holdings had made the Kimble very wealthy. However, the Kimbles had always been brought up on the grand tradition of service to others.
It seemed that real public service, crafting policies that were good for business, had been derailed by politics and its infernal machines. I wanted to help people and I had a business in government. It was an interest that had first been awakened as a small child by watching Ronald Reagan and the way he had stopped the Air Traffic Controllers from striking and had brought democracy to Central America. Pursuing public service is what had brought me to Indiana to study at Notre Dame where I received both my BA and MBA in business administration.
Most people starting out in politics have to start at the bottom. I was lucky because with my father’s connections and financial support I knew that the United States Congress could be within my reach. California’s 54th District is rather unusual in that it has a small Hispanic voting population, but the majority of the district is white, wealthy, and over 60. They had been served in the House by Jerry “Hoop” Hooper for a dozen years and like most of the district he was older, white, and wealthy. He also wasn’t terribly influential in the House. In a Republican district, he seemed to have no trouble voting with the Democrats. I knew I could beat this guy.
And so, on that hot August night, I took the stage before an America cover band came on and I faced the electorate and I looked them square in the eye and let them know that I would be running for Congress and needed their support. A whole lot of things could have happened and most of them were bad. I knew that a lot of things could have happened at that moment and most of them were bad. Then I saw a young woman who couldn’t have been more than 25 years old in a white floppy hat. She tucked her corndog in the crook of her arm and began clapping. Then, like a polio outbreak, the applause began to spread through the entire crowd.
I began to stop and smile at the audience and they returned my enthusiasm. As the band behind me began to play the opening chords of Sister Golden Hair, I felt like I was a rock star. I had committed to the race and there was no backing out now. I had developed a strategy that I thought would win in this district, but I needed to implement it well.
I had done a little bit of research before entering the race and I knew that although Jerry Hooper was a popular representative who did well in a hypothetical poll with any opponent, his support was neither deep nor committed. I asked my childhood friend John E. Lee to run my campaign for me, but I made it very clear to him that I had some ideas of my own and I would not be the type of politician that is handled. That wasn’t for me.
John and I had become good friends in 5th grade when we both got our heads stuck in opposite sides of a bike rack when we dared each other to do it. It was November and the wind had a bite to it as we screamed for dear life out on the playground. When the janitor finally sawed us loose he called us “the braniac twins”. Somehow, the name just kind of stuck. Nobody would ever pick on John though because he had a reputation for being mean and if you got in a fight with him, you knew he would bite your nose or ear if he got a chance. Oh yes, he loved to choose noses.
As an adult, John was not all that much taller than he was in 5th grade. At only 5’9” his waist was always spilling out of his pants like toothpaste being squeezed out of a tube. At 35 years old, he was bald and wore thick glasses, but what he lacked in looks, he made up for in loyalty and an attack dog ferocity which I needed if I was to bring up Hooper’s negatives.
As a fiscal conservative, Jerry had made a major miscalculation when he had argued against a wage increase for home health care workers to $6 an hour. The move was very popular with many of the seniors who voted. Unfortunately, the 54th District has a large number of absentee votes and you can be sure that many of them were filled out by those very same nurses that he was putting down.
Nobody was more popular in my district than the actor Andy Griffith. He didn’t live in the area or even the state, but Matlock reruns on syndication drew higher ratings than first run network programming. One of the local stations had a Tuesday night lineup of Matlock at 5PM, a two-hour Matlock movie at 7PM, followed by another episode of Matlock at 9PM. Jerry had been a bit too friendly with a group of people who were interested in turning that station into a WB affiliate.
The crowning glory of my election strategy would be Andy Griffith’s endorsement. My dad had a friend who played golf with Andy Griffith’s agent. I knew that a picture with Andy Griffith and an endorsement would go quite far in getting me instant credibility with many of the seniors in my district. I had found out when Andy Griffith would be coming to California and I made plans to meet with him to see if I could get him to support my candidacy.
After spending 4 hours driving to Los Angeles and another 3 hours waiting for Griffith to arrive, I finally got to speak to him in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Despite his advancing years, Andy Griffith moved with a spryness that belied just how close to death’s door he really was. We shook hands and I gave him my pitch. I told him how I was pro-business and in favor of the types of wholesome family values that he had always advocated on his shows. I promised him that I would help protect our country from terrorism and the liberal agenda. He sat patiently as he listened to me speak, but then finally stopped me to say, “I’m sorry son, but I’m a Democrat.”
Needless to say, I stood there slack jawed in stunned silence. John immediately lunged at Andy Griffith, but between myself and Mr. Griffith’s assistant we were able to hold John back and hustle Andy Griffith out of the room. I still remember everybody looking at the scene as I screamed frantically, “Cover your nose Mr. Griffith! Cover your nose!”
I had learned a valuable lesson in doing proper research before hand. It turns out that Andy Griffith was well known as a Democrat and the folks in North Carolina had even unsuccessfully tried to convince him to run against Jesse Helms for Senator once. Needless to say, I not only didn’t get an endorsement, but with John frothing at the mouth and trying to bite him, I didn’t get a picture with Andy Griffith that day either. I had no better luck with Angela Lansbury whose grandfather was once the leader of the Labour Party in Britain.
Unfortunately, with the primary slated for October 4th, I had less than 2 months to campaign due to my late entry. Head to head results showed that I trailed Hooper 55% - 41%. I don’t think the founding fathers ever meant for getting elected to be so hard. We tried to hammer Hooper on the issues, but we were only getting so far. I tried to assure that voters that while Hooper had voted for the war in Iraq, that I was even more in favor of it and while Hooper wanted to lower taxes, I wanted to get rid of them altogether, but I couldn’t seem to get much above 40%. Then I like to believe Jesus intervened because what happened next was surely a miracle.
Jerry Hooper was living the American dream. At 62, he was not only serving as a member of the United States House of Representatives, but he was financially well off and his daughter Karen was about to marry Al Giamoti, the son of an Italian immigrant who had graduated Stanford Law School and was doing very well in intellectual property law. Little did Jerry know that his whole world would be crashing down around him.
It was during a late night strategy session when John who first noticed that Al Giamoti sounded an awful lot like the Arab name al-Jamati. At that moment all we had was the inkling of a seed of an idea, but perhaps we would be able to use this to our advantage. The next day during a campaign stop, an older woman asked me if there was anything a liked about Congressman Hooper. I told her I thought he was lacking as a congressman, but was a great person and added that I was really impressed with him as a father. I said I admired his open-mindedness that in the middle of our war on terror, he would not stand in the way of his daughter marrying Mister al-Jamati was a wonderful gesture of international peace and understanding. I also pointed out that al-Jamati was not under federal investigation at this time.
Poor Hoop never saw it coming. Al had dark Italian features and to the voters of my district, he must have looked as Arab as they come. We hired a telemarketing firm to call people and ask them questions about their opinion to the wedding designed to get them to wonder why Congressman Hooper’s daughter was marrying a Islamic extremist. By the primary day, 7 out of 10 Republican voters in the 54th District believed that Al Giamoti was actually an Islamic scholar named Khalid al-Jamati who had ties to terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. By the time Congressman Hooper distanced himself from his future son-in-law it was too late.
Congressman Hooper was too old school to really compete with the strategy that John and I employed. He kept trying to talk about his experience and service to the people of the district. These are the sort of things that sound great on paper, but that voters haven’t really cared about since Gerald Ford was President. When he claimed I was dangerously inexperienced, I bragged about my outsider status. When he said my dad was behind my campaign, I claimed my dad was behind his campaign too. He had no idea how to react to that one.
Push polling is a very controversial technique, but I’m not too proud to admit that we used it. In push polling, you have one of your staff show up early at a polling place and dress like a worker for your opponent. That worker then searches for somebody sympathetic looking who is voting for you. They will engage your supporter in heated conversation before eventually pushing them. If you can find a pregnant woman or a senior citizen, they make the best targets. We learned that it’s generally best to avoid veterans, when one of the greatest generation knocked out one of our young interns who tried this. The trick is to not push hard enough for them to press charges, but hard enough that everybody at the polling place that day will be talking about what a jerk you opponent’s campaign worker was. This technique can really swing a close election.
We did everything we could to squeeze out every vote we could. If our staffers found somebody driving obnoxiously or with loud music playing, my staffers were under instructions to follow that driver and when the care finally parked to put a Hooper bumper sticker on it. That way, when the obnoxious driver cut somebody off, they’d see the Hooper bumper sticker.
When the smoke finally settled, I won a very hard fought 49% to 43% victory in that primary. My next stop would be the general election where I would face a real liberal or at least a moderate named Bill Joyce. Jerry Hooper called to congratulate me, but I’m sorry to say that the call was terse and not the gracious concession that I had hoped for from a man I always admired.
“Mr. Kimble, it’s me Jerry Hooper. I’m calling to concede the primary,” he said. I could tell from his tone that he wasn’t happy.
“Hey Jerry, I was expecting to hear from you. Can you believe how well I’m doing? Pretty wild isn’t it?” I said trying to cheer him up.
“It’s a Goddamned crime is what it is Jack. I had thought better of the voters than this,” he said.
At first I laughed at his joke, but then pulled back as I realized he wasn’t joking. There were a few moments of very awkward silence.
“Well, you won the Republican nomination. I have no doubt the party will be happy to get behind you. Good luck Mr. Kimble,” he said.
“Great Hoop. I hope I can count on your support. I’d love for you…”
Unfortunately, we were disconnected. My staff and I had settled into the ball room at the Bristo Camino Holiday Inn to hear the election results come in. When I announced that I had just got off the phone with Congressman Hooper, the room exploded into applause. An election is hard work and it meant so much to those people that all the time spent passing out leaflets, making phone calls, going door to door, slashing tires, going to rallies, and getting out the vote had not been in vain. The wedding band that I had hired played Kool and the Gang’s song Celebration and we got down Republican style. The energy in that room was pulsing. You could literally feel it. Together, we could change Washington.
There is an unfortunate footnote to the primary. Karen Hooper and Al Giamoti stayed married for a little less than two years. I felt bad for whatever small part the campaign might have played in their breakup. I’m sure it can’t be easy for a couple of young people to build a life together when the bride’s father is forced to distance himself from his future son-in-law for fear of scandal. I wish those two kids all the best. Jerry seems to be doing well since his retirement from Congress. He’s become a regular at a local bar called Schultz’s. I’ve seen him around a few times and he seems much happier without the stress of politics in his life.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Times were very hard for the Pilgrims. They arrived in the winter and they didn't have a lot of food on their ship to eat. However, somehow they made it through the winter in this strange land called The United States of America. When Fall came, they invited over the strange red men they had met called Indians to partake with them in a feast. At this time there were still too few to conquer the Indians, but that would come eventually. Instead, they used the holiday to look for any weakness in the savages.
Those brave pilgrims and their ancestors would soon go on to conquer not only those Indians, but all the Indians from sea to shining seas. I see that same can do spirit in America today. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy good food and togetherness. The economy is in a slump now and if your Thanksgiving table seems a bit more sparse this year, please remember all of those who have nothing. It'll make you remember just how delicious your turkey truly is.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Unfortunately, Mr. Salazar made it clear that he would not be running an honorable primary competition. I was left with no other choice than to attack him, but I chose to do so clearly on the issues. I ask him to rise above these politics of destruction that can do the Republican party no good in the end.
Friday, November 6, 2009
What do members of Congress do? How do they spend their days? I think this is a very fascinating question. I’d like to try and answer it for you.
I am up very early in the morning. My alarm is set for 5:00, but I hit snooze until 6:00. While I’m still in my pajamas I pour myself a bowl of cereal. I used to buy the small variety packs—you know the ones that have Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Rice Krispies, in tiny little boxes all wrapped up in cellophane. The problem is those boxes don’t have prizes in them. Now, I buy big boxes of cereal so I can still get something extra—that’s the Republican way. If the cereal gets stale, I buy a new box.
I like to take my cereal to the living room and watch early morning television. One of the local UHF station shows Mama’s Family and Gomer Pyle back to back. I like to start my day off with a laugh. After breakfast, I walk to the Capitol building.
I have breakfast with a group of House Republicans and Joe Lieberman. This is mostly an excuse for myself to gloat to Duncan Hunter about what a bust Roy Williams has been on his Fantasy Football team. We try to explain football to Lieberman, but despite him saying “oh I get it” a lot, you know he doesn’t.
My next stop is the House champer for a Republican conference meeting. Here, I have a great chance to talk directly to Republican leaders, or I would if we had some. I really look forward to this face to face time with my colleagues. It’s so funny, Joe Lieberman always follows us in here and we have to remind him that he caucuses with the Democrats. Then he acts like he was just kidding.
I head over to my committee meetings. I’m on the Agriculture, Budget, Industrialization, and Protocol committees as well as the Softball Team and Glee Club. I’m told that committees do a lot of the important work in Congress, but they’re just so boring. I usually pass notes with one of my colleagues. Trent Franks is an amazing tic tac toe player and he can always beat me unless I can put a mark in the middle square first. Whether you can get a nap here or not really depends on your committee leader.
I’m on the phone with C-Span, letting them know that I’m available to do interviews on any topic. They tell me they’ll get back to me, but they sound like they mean it this time.
Unexpected events often happen. That’s why it’s important to make yourself scarce in the middle of the day as much as possible. If there are lunch plans, I’ll stick around. It’s always more fun to go as a group. If I’m on my own, I’ll usually go to Roy Rogers for the Double R Bar Burger.
I get together with my staff and we watch Judge Mathis together. My office never misses the Judge if we can help it. I was so made that Obama overlooked him entirely for the Supreme Court. My staff also is in charge of making sure I see only positive mail. I’m currently working on a delicate international situation involving the Nigerian royal family that began with an email to my office. I am hopefully that I will be able to help this prince regain his rightful throne.
I’m off to the National Republican Congressional Committee meeting. The NRCC works to get Republicans elected to Congress and we really hope we can turn things around. Lately, it’s just been one big cry session.
A special voting session of the House of Representatives begins, and I go to my seat in the House chamber. Bells go off in our offices--just like in school--and we have 15 minutes to go to the House to cast our votes,
Voting usually occurs on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and starts at about noon. But toward the end of a congressional session, voting can take place on any workday and can run late into the night, as the House rushes to complete work on legislation. This is great nap time. Ipods are strongly discouraged here—I found out the hard way. Speaker Pelosi will stare at you with her cold dead eyes if she thinks you’re screwing around. Sometimes, I like to make fart noises and dare her to catch me.
Joe Lieberman always wants us to go to a hot tub party after a vote, but he’s so wrinkled now. I always decline. Instead, this is a good time to get together with colleagues at one of the local DC watering holes. Paul Broun always winds up in tears, but today he’s upbeat. He wants me to see if Debbie Wasserman Schultz likes him. I ask him if he means likes him and he says “like him like him”. I guess I’ll work on this tomorrow.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I happen to be a great fan of Joe Lieberman. I took some heat for this in 2000 when he was brainwashed by Al Gore and ran against our beloved President Bush. I have to admit, I could even feel empathy for the many Democrats who were crestfallen at the thought of Joe being denied the Vice-Presidency in such a close election. I’ve been a big fan of Joe Lieberman for nearly 20 years since he first won my heart as Willie on the television show Alf. His deadpan, put upon, whining delivery has served him well as a Senator as well.
Though Joe is older now, I can attest that he looks like a man half his age in a spedo. He’s living proof that with good living, you really don’t need health care. Today, he took a lot of flack from his own party, or former party, or whatever the Democrats are when he announced he would not vote for a health care bill with the public option and in fact he wouldn’t even vote to end a filibuster unless the public option was removed from the legislation.
Joe’s problems with the public option is the same as my own:
- The government cannot handle things like this efficiently and it would do a terrible job insuring people.
- The public option will increase competition and lower the profit margins of insurance companies at a time when they can least afford it.
- The public option will lead to communism by 2012.
Joe has said that he would to keep the rest of the bill and in 3 or 4 years revisit things to see if we might want to investigate the possibility of creating a trigger that if reached would possibly bring us the public option. Without the public option, the current program will work to lower health care costs and insure people by fining people heavily if they don’t buy health insurance This will help the insurance companies by increasing their profits and help the uninsured by making them by health care.
Joe has once again shown himself to be a figure of integrity and courage. A lot of people would have been scared to stand against the public option when like Lieberman, they were so heavily financed by the insurance industry. I had the same problem just last year when I had to make the difficult decision of supporting the tobacco industry despite the fact that they heavily funded my campaign. I made the right choice and went with my conscience the same way that Joe Lieberman has today. This is truly what being a member of Congress is all about.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
One of the keys of my reelection campaign is getting my name out there. Last week, I was on Bobo and Moon Pie’s Morning Mayhem radio show and I thought it went really well. As a service to voters in my district, here’s a transcript:
Bobo: You know I’m not a big fan of politicians.
Traffic Lady Doris: Do you even vote?
Bobo: I vote on American Idol, that’s like the same thing.
TLD: :::Laughing:: Bobo, you’re insane.
Moonpie: What was your first clue Doris? For me it’s that shirt :::laughing:::
Bobo: If I could please continue. This next politician is our own Representative Jack Kimble and I think he’s doing a great job. If you talk to him he’s one politician that actually makes sense.
MP: Then why’s he on with us? :::laughter::
TLD: Yeah, that’s a big mistake ::laughter::
Representative Kimble: Hello, I’ve been listening to this show. What is your intern’s name?
Bobo: Sir Fartsalot.
RK: You guys are insane, but you’re having fun and that’s great to see.
MP: It’s good to see you Congressman. Now, why are you running for reelection?
RK: President Obama has 7 years left in his term. I believe that this country can’t afford to have a business as usual representative that will work with him. I believe we need a representative like myself that will automatically say no regardless of what he proposes. I’ve been out there at tea bagging parties and I’ve seen the disillusionment of many in this district.
Bobo: He said teabagging :::laughter:::
MP: So are you ready to face our listeners congressman?
RJK: I’m looking forward to it.
Conserative Pat: Hey guys, The Morning Mayhem rocks! This blows away the Morning Zoo, Morning Madhouse, and the Morning Crew. :::Honk:: You are the best Congressman. Anybody who stands up to Obama has my vote. You know, I don’t think he was even born in this country.
Bobo: Dp you have a question for the Congressman Pat?
CP: Oh yeah, I was wondering if it’s difficult to balance being a congressman and a family man?
RJK: Well, I’ve known my wife since we were in high school.
TLD: Were you high school sweethearts?
RJK: Actually, we met on vacation. She was from another state.
MP: You know I don’t think I’ve ever seen her.
RJK: She’s a very private person. She supports me completely, but she doesn’t like to be filmed or photographed or appear in public, so I respect her privacy.
Bobo: OK, there’s nothing strange about that. Carl you’re on the Morning Mayhem.
Carl: Thanks Bobo. Congressman Kimble, I had a question about making a campaign donation.
RJK: You know we love to hear that.
Carl: Great. When your mother was staying over last night, she left without taking the money I left for her on the nightstand.
RJK: That isn’t a problem. We can even take paypal or credit card.
Carl: OK, but see your mother was staying over last night and see we were sleeping together and then I was giving her money for it and then oh never mind :::hang up:::
RJK: Thanks for calling. Please don’t forget to donate.
Bobo: Pedro you’re on the Morning Mayhem.
Pedro: I’m a gay man.
TLD: So is my hairdresser.
MP: So is Bobo
Bobo: Hey now…Go ahead with you question Pedro.
Pedro: I wanted to know what the congressman though about Representative Gohmert saying that homosexuality leads to necrophilia?
RJK: I wanted let that get to you. That’s just how he talks. The other day we were trying to decide where to go for lunch. I wanted to go for Thai and he wanted Tex Mex. He told me that eating Tex Mex would lead to necrophilia. Cowboys losing to the Broncos–same thing. He really seems hung up on necrophilia for some reason.
Bobo: OK, there’s nothing weird about that. Cindy, you’re on with Congressman Kimble.
Cindy: Hello Congressman. You’ve got a very sexy voice.
RJK: Thank you Cindy.
Cindy: Congressman, I’m begging for some help here. I’m a single mother. I have 3 children. I’m a freelance graphic artist. I don’t get insurance from work and I can’t afford to buy it. Why won’t you support health care reform so that my children can be covered?
RJK: Do you want health care to be like the DMV or the post office? I don’t think…
Cindy: Congressman I have a driver’s license and I get mail. I don’t have health care.
RJK: You’re a graphic artist right?
Cindy: Yes, I’m freelance though.
RJK: You know, I know of another free lance artist. He was on a long train ride when he decided to draw a mouse.
Cindy: I’m not Walt Disney congressman. I just need health care.
RJK: Well I’m sorry, but we’ll just have to disagree here.
MP: Why are you so opposed to government run health care.
RJK: I think a lot of us our. I know of at least one congressman who believes that the government option will lead to necrophilia.
Bobo: Damn you Louis Gohmert.
MP: Let’s check in with Sir Fartsalot. He’s getting waxed at the Giorgio La Puma Spa.
TLD: Oh I bet he’s going to be screaming.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
One of the great things about my job is the opportunity to speak to Americans of all walks of life. Today I was fortunate to get the chance to spend most of the day at Martin Borman Elementary School. I really enjoyed meeting the students and explaining why health care reform would be bad for them and how redistribution of wealth would make some of their mommies and daddies poorer while making others more dependent on the state. I had prepared a rebuttal to President Obama’s speech to the students, but Borman Elementary did not show the speech due to fear of Obama politicizing the event. I still think this speech could be very useful for parents and teachers who want to give the other side equal time.
Hello everyone. I hope you are having a great day. I know that this is your first day of school and whether you’re an eighth grader or a kindergartner you’re probably excited and maybe a little nervous. Don’t be. For one thing, I’ve seen your school’s test scores and frankly they’re not that hot. You are getting a free education at the expense of the taxpayers of this state, but frankly you’re getting what you paid for. Today, all throughout this country students your age are speaking Mandarin and doing chemical experiments that you can’t even comprehend. Someday, you will work for them.
I know that many of you wish that it was still Summer vacation and you could sleep a little later. I know the feeling. When I was a young boy growing up in California, my family was very well to do and there was nothing I enjoyed more than sleeping through the first two or three periods of the school day knowing that the teacher might be disappointed in me, but that my allowance was more than his entire paycheck. I had a heated indoor pool and my own pony. He was driving a 12 year old Buick without air conditioning.
I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year. You see, , we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter for most of you. Look around your homeroom. Do you really think that you’re all going to be doctors and lawyers? Somebody is going to have to press the pants and make the sandwiches for the successful people in the future and that somebody is probably going to be you. Let’s face it, college costs keep escalating and even if you can get the loans to pay for your education, why would you want that kind of debt?
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the futility of your education. Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Maybe you can sing really well or you’re the best player on the basketball team. That doesn’t mean anybody wants to pay to see you do it. It’s great to have a hobby, but just because you can play Guitar Hero doesn’t mean you’re ever going to be able to play a real guitar. It’s complicated.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you probably won’t get hired to do it. All writing will do is make you an alcoholic and give you a drawer full of rejection letters. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – If that’s the case you should really watch Tucker or Flash of Genius and see how corporate America treates innovators. Life is tough kids. I wish I could say it was fair.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll probably never be happier than you are right now. Being a grownup is a lot of responsibility. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You might as well take advantage of this time to hang out with your friends and play video games because you’ll be working very long hours and never have a chance to really have fun as an adult. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job, but you can buy lottery tickets. Girls, if you’re pretty they are always hiring dancers by the airport.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork. I get it. I know what that’s like. I had so many toys I couldn’t possibly play with all of them and work on my homework. Did I mention I had a heated pool? There were times when I felt lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in. You know what I did? I threw a big party and even though people didn’t like me they’d be nice to me so they’d get an invitation.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right. If that’s the case I’m sorry. You will probably be working at a car wash or working the midnight shift at a gas station.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. They know it, but they’re scared to write it down for fear you’ll lower your expectations for yourself. I personally think that a good healthy dose of realism is just what you as first graders need.
Young kids like you are learning this everyday. Angelis Villenueva is a young girl in my district who came to this country not speaking a word of English. She worked hard in school and graduated number one out of her class of 2500 students despite working after school helping her mother clean the homes of many of her more affluent classmates. Unfortunately, Angelis’s family came to this country illegally and she has no social security number which has made it impossible for her to go to college. She is currently working at a Speedway or will be until I make a phone call to immigration later this afternoon.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – Maybe you’re going to try and drive your teacher crazy. Maybe you’ll decide to make fun of the girl who sits next to you because her parents don’t have much money and she buys all her clothes at Walmart. Maybe you’ll decide to just hang out in the hallways a lot. That’s great.
Some of the most successful people in life have been drop outs. Look at people like Lebron James, Bill Gates, and Konye West. If you get a bad grade that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means that school probably isn’t for you. Well maybe you are stupid, but if you are then school definitely isn’t for you. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker it just means that your teacher is picking on you – Probably for no reason. Some people will tell you that you owe it to your family to graduate and that you can’t let your family down, but who knows you better than your family. They expect it. Use your school years well. They’ll always be something you can talk about with your friends at the bar when you don’t want to talk about how miserable your job is.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
Monday, September 7, 2009
[From Nate Peele's blog: www.thatsrightnate.com]
Nate Peele: It is always a pleasure to be able to interview Congressman Jack Kimble (R-CA). It’s even a bigger honor today as Congressman Kimble is speaking to promote his new children’s book aimed at the 11-15 year old readership. I am normally not a fan of reading, but in light of President Obama’s attempt to indoctrinate our school children next week, I was interested in Congressman Kimble’s take on school children and politics. Congressman, welcome to the blog.
Congressman Kimble: Thank you Nate. You’re always a great way for me to get my message out. I am very saddened by president Obama’s attempts to address our school children. I think I could solve this whole problem if they would allow me to give a rebuttal like they do on the State of the Union address.
NP: Well, isn’t the President just going to tell the students to study hard and stay in school?
CK: Precisely, I would like equal time. As a country we’re spending way too much money to educate children whose parents will never be able to afford to send them to college. Those students would be much better off dropping out and our tax money could then be used to educate children whose parents have the money to allow them to do something with the education the government is giving them.
NP: Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening.
CK: Me neither. That’s why this book is so important to me.
NP: How did you ever find time to write a book?
CK: It really isn’t difficult. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in Congress that bores me to tears. Rather than reading a lot of legislation, I’ll skim it or have an aid give me the bullet points. Then I use that time to work on my writing or my fantasy football team. You know I got Drew Brees with the number 11 pick this year. Nobody wants to take quarterbacks in the first round. I was worried that Cantor would go for him, but he took Matt Forte instead.
NP: Now this story is very sobering stuff for a middle school audience. Bethany, the heroine, has her mother die while they’re all on vacation in Canada because she can’t get any medical services. Then when she gets back to this country our government tries to take away her family home because of the inheritance tax.
CK: I actually fought with my publisher on that. I wanted to call it the death tax, but they thought it made the book too dark. I have been going to schools in my district for year’s now lecturing to students on the death tax. They need to know it will impact them someday when their mommy and daddy die and they’re left all alone.
NP: Now is this a true story?
CK: No, I don’t think it takes much talent to tell a story about true things. In the GOP we pride ourselves on our ability to tell stories about things that didn’t happen like the death panels or Obama’s secret army.
NP: Now tell us about Paul?
CK: Everybody wants to know about Paul. He’s just your run of the mill teenager with androgynous and non-threatening good looks. He’s an amazing rock guitarist and he likes to race motorcycles. However, what makes him different is he’s a vampire. As an immortal he’s seen how new social programs keep popping up and how our country keeps moving away from the vision of the founding fathers who he knew personally.
NP: So if he’s this powerful immortal, why does he hang out in a high school?
CK: Well, he’s a tortured soul and he’s an artist and when he sees Bethany he immediately is drawn to her like a moth to a flame, but they have a love nobody can understand.
NP: Well she is like 16 and he’s several hundred years old.
CK: He still looks 16. Anyway, he tells her about conservatism and together they start a movement.
NP: I know you have a lot of Christian support. Aren’t vampires anti-Christian?
CK: Yes, but luckily for Paul, Bethany leads him back to the church.
NP: Wow, it really seems like a lot happens in this book. I would be very happy if you would sign a copy for my daughter Emily. Is the book available through Amazon?
CK: Actually, we’ve had a little problem getting a distributorship. I had a Christian book publisher, but they pulled out after the vampire thing. We’re currently being distributed by American Cartridge Corporation. They’re one of the better ammunition distributors, but this is their first time with a book. You can find The Taxman Comes at Midnight at finer gun shops and gun shows throughout the West Coast region.
NP: I’ll be sure to pick it up. Always a pleasure Congressman.
CK: It’s great being here Nate.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The main point of my town hall was to explain to people that health care was too important a decision to be left to ACORN and illegal immigrants like it undoubtedly would be in the Obama plan. Furthermore, I wanted to let my constituents know that I was 100% against killing senior citizens so that we might harvest their organs regardless of what the Obama administration might or might not want. I let my people know that neither myself nor any Republican member of Congress I knew supported:
1. Euthanizing senior citizens in order to harvest their organs
2. Using tax payer money for cosmetic surgery for illegal aliens
3. Using health reform as a backdoor way to a socialist government or slavery reparations
4. Eliminating medicare in favor of hospice care for all Americans over 55
I think that really helped put the many seniors in the audience at ease. Of course, the crazies did come out in full force. When they'd get on mic they'd say things like "I can't afford health care" or "I have a pre-existing condition" or "Why do we spend so much for a health care system that doesn't work?" Fortunately, the Hell's Angels were right on it--shutting them down before they could monopolize the discussion away from more important topics like how President Obama wanted to use this program to stop senior citizens from driving. My favorite was one crazy woman demanding to know what plans I had for covering her family. I told her my plan was for her to get a job. She didn't even laugh at that.
I was most impressed with the patriotic fervor of the crowd. We said the Pledge of Allegiance 8 times and sang the Star Spangled Banner twice. Best of all, I wasn't hung in effigy. I'm very lucky to be representing such a God fearing district and I look forward to serving them for years to come.
Monday, July 27, 2009
As you know, Congressman Jack Kimble (R-CA) has been an occasional contributor to my blog. He’s been very outspoken on Twitter(@RepJackKimble) lately about health care reform and the dangers of a Canadian style socialized medicine. I was lucky enough to be able to arrange a phone interview with Congressman Kimble about this subject that is very important to both of us.
Nate: Thank you for agreeing to this interview congressman. I think your contributions to the blog have really helped give me legitimacy as a blog.
Kimble: Thank you Nate. I’m always happy to talk to the media and with C-Span playing favorites, I’ve had a hard time getting my message out to the people of this United States and to the soldiers who keep this great land of ours safe also.
Nate: Yes, I too would like to say, “support our troops”.
Kimble: Thank you for doing that Nate. It means a lot to me.
Nate: Now, you have some serious problems with Canadian health care I know. I do too. I dated a very beautiful Canadian girl who lived in Canada throughout high school and college. She was pretty enough to be a model and in fact did do some wallet and picture frame work. She was extremely into me and we tried to make the long distance thing work, but I finally had to break up with her because of Canadian health care.
Kimble: Why would you break up with a girl you obviously liked over Canadian health care.
Nate: The problem was every time she’d be coming down to visit me and meet my friends, she’d undoubtedly come down with something and have to cancel at the last moment. It made me look very bad to my friends and that put a terrible strain on my relationship.
Kimble: Actually, that’s not an uncommon story. Especially with attractive young Canadian women and some men.
Nate: I’m going to have to play Obama…I mean devil’s advocate here.
Kimble: :::laughing::: Nice one
Nate: What do you say to people who say that the Canadian health care system is much cheaper than the United States?
Kimble: That’s not quite true. While Americans pay 16% of our GDP for health care, Canadians spend 10.1% of theirs.
Nate: So Canada’s system is considerably cheaper?
Kimble: Not exactly. You see the life expectancy of an American is 77.1 years while in Canada the life expectancy is 80.7 years. That’s 3 extra years of taxes that the average Canadian has to pay for their health care. In the end it very much evens out.
Nate: I hadn’t thought of it that way.
Kimble: You should. It’s not just doctors either. Dentistry in Canada is affected too. Watch an NHL game sometimes and look at how many of the Canadian players are missing teeth.
Nate: Wow, there are a lot. You explanation of the cost imbalance makes a lot of sense, but anybody can present statistics. Do you have any anecdotes to help support your case?
Kimble: Yes, I do. There’s a very brave Canadian woman by the name of Shona Holmes.
Nate: The woman in the commercial with the terminal brain tumor?
Kimble: Actually, she made the brain tumor part up, but anyway at 31 years old she was diagnosed with a Rathke’s Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland.
Nate: Wow! That sounds serious.
Kimble: It is. A Rathke’s Cleft Cyst is a benign tumor that can cause dizziness and even blindness if it isn’t treated and the Canadians wanted her to wait a month for treatment so she paid $100,000 out of pocket to go to Arizona and get it removed.
Nate: She had to pay out of her own pocket, that’s terrible. How do you explain that 85% of Canadians are happy with their health care system?
Kimble: Would you like the NFL to have 3 downs instead of 4?
Nate: No, of course not.
Kimble: Would you like to eat your french fries with brown gravy or vinegar?
Nate: Not if my life depended on it.
Kimble: How about the metric systme?
Nate: Oh heck no.
Kimble: The Canadians are happy with all of those things.
Nate: Wow, they really aren’t very bright.
Kimble: No they’re not. They make great lumberjacks, defensemen, or mounties, but you sure wouldn’t want to ask one to do math.
Nate: Good point. I know this may be a touchy topic, so you don’t have to answer this, but how do you respond to people who say that the big reason you’re so against socialized medicine is because insurance company lobbyists donate heavily to your campaign?
Kimble: I don’t mind answering. Look, it takes a lot of money to run for office in this country. I get a lot of money from insurance company lobbyists, but I always make it clear up front that it won’t affect my vote. Some of the most despicable people on the planet contribute to my campaign–pay day loan guys, crack dealers, companies that knowingly make defective baby toys. You think I am beholden to all those people?
Nate: Well no of course not, you’d never be reelected.
Kimble: Exactly Nate.
Nate: Thank you for agreeing to this interview congressman.
Kimble: Thank you Nate. You asked some real tough questions. I like that.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
In the House of Representatives, we are a bit separated from the entire confirmation process for Supreme Court Justices. However, we've always got C-Span handy albeit usually to check how we look on the tv. I personally have been working hard on sponsoring a House Bill in response to the Brownback and Landrieu bill currently in the Senate which will forever protect our shores from Koala Men and other animal-human hybrid creatures, but I still have found time to watch the Sotomayor hearings.
I believe with all my heart that the role of a Supreme Court Justice is to be follow the values and principles of our founding fathers. You don't need a fancy law book or even a Constituion to do that. That's why there is no requirement that a Supreme Court Justice be a judge or even a lawyer.
Liberals believe in appointing activist judges who use precedent as a reason for changing things. If you listened to Sotomayor today, she ducked behind every tough question about the firefighter case by claiming precedent. You know who else followed precedent? The pharisees who persecuted Jesus. Is that the role model we want for our Supreme Court Justices? Surely, in the vast history of our country you can find a precedent for anything, but is that how we really want our laws to be interpreted? It seems to me that precedent is just another way for liberals to change the way this country runs. We need non-activist Judges who base their decisions on the values of our founding fathers and not on precedent.
Fortunately, this is not something that we are powerless over. I can tell you from first hand experience that congressmen pay very close attention to emails they receive especially from people who aren't even in their district. If the email is particularly angry or is written anonymously, it is particularly persuassive. You have have an impact on the Senate Judiciary Committee by emailing them anonymously with your displeasure over Sotomayor. If you use exclamation marks and bold or capital letters to make your point so much the better. I don't have a vote on this. For this decision, I'm just an ordinary person like you people. If we are going to get her rejected, it's going to have to come from you.
Representative Jack Kimble (R-CA)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
It turns out that unbeknownst to us, teabagging has another meaning than the way we had intended it. In fact it has a very filthy and disgusting definition. Evidently, people saw the "Teabagging Demonstration" and thought we were actually going to do it. It is a real shame that the actions of a few perverts ruined the efforts of a bunch of good people to stand up to wasteful spending in this country.
I have also been informed that the teabagging shirts we were giving away were actually about the other kind of teabagging. We have destroyed over 100 offending t-shirts and we would ask that anybody who has either the t-shirt we were selling or the "Congressman Kimble's Teabagging Team" bumper sticker we were giving away to please return them to our office.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
As a 1985 graduate of Notre Dame, I have many fond memories of my time spent in our lady's hallowed halls. Since graduating I have always remained proud of my alma matter and I have applied the moral training that I received at Notre Dame to my career in public office. As a member of Congress I am often called on to make tough moral decisions and it is my faith and the influence of Notre Dame and Ronald Reagan that allow me to make the tough choices.
It is for this reason I am writing to you to protest in the strongest terms your decision to have President Obama speak at this year's Commencement Ceremony. A graduation speaker must uphold the values of the University he is speaking at and President Obama does not do this.
I remember my own graduation very vividly. When El Salvadoran President Juan Napoleon Duarte spoke to us, we knew that he was approaching us as a fellow Catholic and Notre Dame alumnus and that his faith had carried him through difficult times. When those nuns were murdered in his country by right wing death squads under his leadership he must have felt awful, but like Job in the Bible he persevered to continue fighting against socialism and for Catholic ideals in El Salvador.
My grandfather graduated from Notre Dame in 1942 and while World War II was in everybody's thoughts, it was speaker J. Edgar Hoover who told the graduates about a world where law and order would be strictly enforced. This was another moral man who spoke with the convictions of our beautiful university. What Obama must understand is that the decision of Earl Warren (Commencement Speaker 1957) and his Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade is an anathema to Catholic teaching
Through the years, Notre Dame has had war heroes like William T. Sherman and politicians like President Bush speak at graduations and they have always been men of the highest character. How hypocritical is it of our great university to now ask somebody like Obama, who is quite probably secretly a Muslim, to speak. To go from a great fighter of socialism in Juan Napoleon Duarte to a socialist like Obama in the span of just 25 years is distressing and I fear for the future of Notre Dame. I am suspending my $20 annual contribution until this matter is rectified and a new football coach is hired.
Representative Jack Kimble (Class of '85)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I was having a great day. My Fox 15 thing was a big hit and I got some good me time. So I'm sitting down eating dinner and I get this call from Johnny B. Now Boehner never calls during dinner time so I'm immediately alarmed. "Did you see Olbermann last night?" he asks me.
"No," I said, "Its recess. Get your head out of all that politics stuff."
"Its Virginia," he shot back, "Olbermann slammed Virginia."
Now, I was pissed. It seems as usual Keith Olbermann got only half the story and decided to jump to all sorts of conclusions. He told everybody that Eric Cantor got this idea that we would ambush the freshman Democrats when they spoke in Congress. Then we'd interrogate them and make them look foolish so that we could win partisan points and we would post this on Youtube. In fact, Eric Cantor's staff wrote our questions for us.
In reality, this idea started with me. My idea was water balloons. I thought it'd be cool, when we were all walking out, if we'd have our staff pelt them with water balloons and we'd post it on Youtube. It'd be so awesome because they'd be like "I'm a congressman, but I'm all wet. I don't look dignified at all. Help!"
Eric liked the idea a lot, but he figured the odds of all the freshman walking out at the same time was pretty small and people would tip off the Dems if all our staffers were outside holding water balloons. Our initial questions were wacky like when I was giving Betsey Markey the whole "Is your refrigerator running" shtick. Then Pelosi gave us a major tongue lashing for wasting Congress's time. Grrrr! I hate that woman. Now all that we're left with are boring policy questions. Cantor's staff was at least nice enough to write them for us.
Hazing the freshmen is nothing new. Cantor himself used to have to shave Dennis Hastert's back every Friday morning. I'm told that in the 19th century they used to make the freshmen reps where beanies. This sort of thing builds character. We've even been pretty lenient with the binge drinking with this class. So where does Mr. Keith Olbermann get off? I already told all of you about what Dick Cheney made me do.
Anyway, I made my own video of Virginia Foxx. I am hoping that this will cheer her up. I think you'll like it more than Olbermann's lame video of our "hazing" followed by my video for Virginia.
What are you most proud of in your career in congress?
That's tough. I'd probably go with getting President Obama to change his stimulus bill despite not voting for it anyway. That
was pretty awesome.
Do you want President Obama to fail?
You bet. He wants me to fail too. In 4 years, I'd like to be driving my car and stop at a stoplight and have him start cleaning my windshield.
What do you like least about being in congress?
My chair squeeks. They keep telling me they'll look at it, but if you lean back and to the left a bit it'll start squeeking. During his address to congress, I kept squeeking whenever Obama would pause. You can hear me doing it on the broadcasts too lol.
What was your most difficult moment in congress?
Nobody bothered to tell me that Barney Frank was gay. Gabrielle Giffords walked by in this very short suit and I pointed to her and told Barney, "I wouldn't mind fillibustering that if you know what I mean." I guess she overheard and when she turned around, I told her, "It was him" pointing to Barney. She came back to us punched me in the stomach, grabbed me by the tie and told me "I'm married to an astronaut Kimble. We can put your remains where they'll never find them." I think she meant it too.
Principal Handley and Vice-Principal Sommers were my tour guides as I walked from classroom to classroom. I am definitely convinced that chart schools are the answer to our country's education problems. They will allow caring and concerned parents to seperate their kids from the objectionable students in a way that just isn't possible in a public school setting.
If you're not from my district, let your Representative know that you want more charters. The teacher's unions claim that charter schools are a way to bust the unions, but consider that the largest contributor to charters in this country is Walmart. Do you think a company like Walmart would want to be accused of union busting? or would the Bill Gates Foundation want to be accused of unfair business practices? I think not.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The problem is that I have never really sought the limelight. I haven't been on television that many times and that disastrous appearance on Washington Journal in defense of my bill to extend concealed carry rights to high school and middle school students who had at least a B average and had otherwise qualified to carry a gun did not go over very well with the Eastern elite. I guess I'm lucky that this is a local broadcast. I bet it still gets more viewers than C-Span.
I'm off to bed. That's part of being a responsible public servant. I've been on break for 2 days so far and I still haven't gotten to have any real fun yet.
Anyway, the one person Lisa never seems to be able to dodge is Eleanor Holmes Norton. Face to face she isn't that bad, but on the phone she's like a bulldog until she gets through. Now don't get me wrong, she's a very impressive woman, but she's not even really a representative. She's a House Member the way that Angie Dickenson was in the Rat Pack. I mean maybe technically she is, but she can't even vote. Pete Sessions gives her a hard time about it. It really cracks me up, but I think it frosts her bottom to not have an actual vote.
Anyway, she calls right in the middle of Judge Mathis and Lisa caves in and puts her through. We won the House Pictionary Tournament last year so she feels like she has an in with me and I don't dislike her or anything, but I'm trying to watch Mathis on mute with the captions scrolling and she's talking to me on the phone. For all I know I just agreed to support giving her voting rights. That woman is tenacious.