Congressman Gary Miller
Published: 18 March 2012 07:44 PM
Rep. Gary Miller and state Sen. Bob Dutton had far different interpretations of the California Republican Party’s recent endorsement of Miller for San Bernardino County’s redrawn 31st Congressional District.
To Dutton, the party’s endorsement of Miller last Sunday was indicative of “the big boys in D.C.” big-footing local party activists to ensure the support of a Diamond Bar resident who has never represented the district.
To Miller, the state party’s backing — which he said was unanimous — was simply the product of GOP leaders recognizing that Miller’s years of experience at the local, state and federal level make him the better candidate for a tough fall campaign.
“These were his peers, not my peers,” Miller said of Dutton, a former Senate GOP leader from Rancho Cucamonga who sat on the state party’s board of directors until earlier this year. “What ability do we have to strong-arm the California Republican Party? None.”
Democrats hold a slight registration advantage in the 31st, and the seat is expected to be among the nation’s most competitive House races this fall.
“Pelosi can’t get her speakership back unless she wins this seat and others like it,” Miller said.
In other contests, the state GOP endorsed Corona businessman Eric Linder for the Republican-leaning 60th District. Two other Republicans, Corona Councilman Stan Skipworth and Alvord Unified trustee Greg Kraft have been in the race for months but had raised little money through Dec. 31.
The party also endorsed Moreno Valley Councilman Bill Batey in Riverside County’s 61st Assembly District, which is targeted by both parties this year.
The GOP did not endorse anyone in Riverside County’s crowded 67th Assembly District, or in the jam-packed 8th Congressional District.
The national debate over health insurance and contraception is “not helpful” to Republicans, U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert said Monday.
Speaking to The Press-Enterprise editorial board, Calvert, R-Corona, said what started as a discussion about President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul has turned into whether Republicans are opposed to birth control, “which is ridiculous.”
“The debate got away from us for a while,” he said. “But I hope we can put it back in the box.”
He also criticized conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who is under fire for using the word slut to describe a Georgetown law student who wants private insurance plans, even those at religious institutions, to cover contraception.
Limbaugh “put gas on the fire,” Calvert said. He added he feels that comments by Obama supporter and TV host Bill Maher are even worse and “he seems to get a bye.”
Calvert also said he hopes the Republican presidential primary battle is over by June. “But I can’t say that with any confidence at this point,” he said.
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