The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Friday, August 29, 2003

Yesterday as I was driving to the bridge tournament, I listed to recall campaign coverage on the radio. First Cruz Bustamante was reported pandering to voters: He proposed that the state agencies that regulate utilities should also be allowed to regulate gas prices. Bustamente said that Californians were being gouged, and that gas prices should be cheaper in California because the state contains a lot of refineries.

Bustamante thus scores the following:

  • 10 points for pandering
  • 10 points for contempt of voters' memory (how about those lines and shortages the last time the government told gas stations how to sell their product?)
  • 15 points for jaw-dropping economic illiteracy (that bit about refineries), which brings to mind Hitler's weird utterances as chronicled in Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

The very next report was coverage of three candidates' appearance before representatives of the Indian gaming industry. One of those candidates was Bustamante, who was reported as being against restrictions on Indian gaming (i.e., casinos). Bustamante was quoted on the air:

I don't think there should be restrictions on how many slot machines a casino can contain. We don't tell merchants how much of a product they can sell. We should allow casinos to have as many machines as the market will bear (emphasis mine).

  • 10 points for being a vote-grubber
  • 15 points for implicitly telling the oil industry that matching Indian tribes' $3 million in contributions will make everything okay
  • 20 points for contempt of voters' intellectual processes
  • ...

(I can't link to the radio, but here's a Merc article that mentions both stories.)



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