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McCain lends weight

October 12, 2005|By: Vince Lovato

Arizona Sen. John McCain announced his support of Gov. Arnold

Schwarzenegger's four reform propositions Monday.

The senator, whom Schwarzenegger referred to as "The Great

Reformer," was surrounded by about 30 Southern California supporters

during a press conference at the Hilton Burbank Airport and

Convention Center.

"Our state needs reform in order to move it forward,"

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Schwarzenegger said. "McCain is known for being the Great Reformer."

Among the supporters at the press conference were Beverly Morrow,

past president of the La Crescenta Valley Republican Women, and

Marcia Tookey, Vice President of the Los Angeles County Federation of

Republican Women.

"We were having a [executive committee] meeting this morning and

they called so we adjourned to join the press conference," Morrow

said.

They all wore T-shirts with REFORM-REBUILD emblazoned on the

fronts.

Tookey believes McCain's foray into California politics is an

indication that he plans to mount another run for the White House.

"I think he shows all the signs of a candidate," she said.

McCain, who has often been contentious with his own party leaders,

addressed the obvious question of why he is sticking his nose in

California politics.

"I have been campaigning for reform efforts all over the country,"

McCain said. "We all know that when something happens in California

it has an effect on what we do."

As for a presidential run, McCain did not commit or rule it out

but did say California has been left out of the presidential

landscape for too long.

"The Republican Party cannot ignore the state of California for a

long time," McCain said. "We can't write off California on every

national issue.

"If we decide the illegal immigration issue in a Judeo-Christian

manner we'll be competitive for the Hispanic vote."

Schwarzenegger tried to make McCain sound like a presidential

candidate that could draw the attention of California voters.

"A responsible leader represents everyone regardless of party

affiliation," Schwarzenegger said.

He gave a playful jab that underscored his point when he said

California still steals water from Arizona.

McCain said the gerrymandering was so strong in California that it

was easier to lose a "Politburo in Havana" than for an incumbent to

lose an election in California.

"When you have unchallenged politicians it drives people to

positions of extreme," McCain said.

"I believe the system needs to be reformed," McCain said. "[Former

California Gov. Gray] Davis' money is proof of a system that needs to

be reformed. I think the governor played by the rules of the game. Do

I like the game? No. But [Schwarzenegger] shouldn't have to play with

one arm tied behind his back."

Far from being a rubber stamp organization, the executive

committee of the Los Angeles County Federation of Republican Women

analyzes legislation before endorsing it, Tookey said.

"We have to read props and decide how we will vote," Tookey said.

"We debate them and people speak for and against them and we make up

our own minds. Sometimes we agree with our party and sometimes we

don't but with these we are solidly behind the governor."

About 30 protesters lined Hollywood Way in front of the hotel

waving signs that read "Schwarzenegger must go" or "No On Prop 75."

Nurses wearing blue scrubs waved signs that read "Nurses Heal."

Some drivers honked their support as they drove by.

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