[banner] Gerald Klaas for Senate '98

On the campaign trail...

October/November 1998

10-01-98: Had a candidate forum today with the Florin Chamber of Commerce held at JJ North's on Florin Road. Deborah, Chris and I each had 10 minutes to speak. It was a very open format. I talked about wanting a part-time legislature, a sunset clause on all legislation, and how the tragedy involving Michelle Montoya was really a failure of our criminal justice system, not our school system. I also talked about how the war on drugs can cause animals like that to be released from prison when we fill them up with non-violent drug offenders. I thought it went very well.

10-05-98: Took a call from Gene Frazier this afternoon asking if I was invited to the North Highlands candidate forum tonight. I said, "Huh? What forum?" It seems this is another forum I wasn't invited to. Gene agreed to meet me there to see if I could either get in, be introduced or just hand out literature.

When the time came, I introduced myself to the moderator who said he "would introduce me later", but then Ortiz and Quackenbush both insisted that I should be up on stage with them, and so they brought me up, and I was in on the debate. I thank Chris and Deborah both for recognizing the importance to democracy of allowing all positions to be heard.

I thought it went well. I was in a decidedly disadvantaged position, as I went first on all questions, so the other candidates had that extra time to formulate their answers after hearing the questions, and I hadn't prepared any statements and didn't know what format they were using. But shootin' from the hip was fine, and I had some good feedback from a few of the audience.

10-08-98: Met Gene and Juan Ros (Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of California) at CSUS for the candidate forum. When I arrived, a staffer of CSUS University Affairs told me that I would not be allowed into the forum. Another staffer told me that I couldn't have my sign inside of the University Union and I couldn't hand out literature there, I'd have to go outside the building into the library quad. I took my sign and literature outside and set them down in the quad then returned. I went up and started telling a news reporter that I am the libertarian candidate, that this is public property, this is publicly funded (CSUS), this is a public forum and I'm a candidate for public office. I told her that I had not been invited and that they weren't going to let me in, further that I was not even being allowed to distribute literature. Just then, Deborah Ortiz stepped into the foyer and said "Go on up, you're in."

So again, I thank Chris and Deborah for recognizing that I have different views and that this open forum is good for democracy.

The forum was intended to focus on education. I talked about how I would like to have an opt-out option for parents where they could get a 50% refund from the state of public school costs if they opted-out of the public school system. I also talked about how I thought we should reorganize the way we finance higher education, something more along the lines of the GI Bill, or the tuition reimbursement programs that many employers have. There were two TV cameras there, and I thought it went really well.

10-10-98: This morning was the League of Women Voters candidate forum at the Sacramento County Administration Building. This is the highest profile forum that we participate in. It was broadcast live on MetroChannel 14 and will be rebroadcast each Sunday at 10 am between now and the election. I thought the forum went well. It was only a half an hour, which just flew by. We talked about traffic, air pollution, MTBE and the state budget process. I was nervous, but nothing like I was back in May when we did this before the primary election. Maybe I'll get used to TV cameras someday. KOVR 13 taped the forum as well. On the eleven o'clock news they had a story titled "Ortiz vs Quackenbush". They didn't even mention that a Libertarian is in the race! They went so far as to pan across the dais showing Quackenbush, the moderator, and Ortiz, then stopping before they got to me. I wrote them an email to complain about the obviously conscious exclusion. If you care to, you might fire off a note on the role of the press in a democracy. news@kovr13.com

10-11-98: Resting. Wife and stepson are at the coast, no campaign appointments today. Sit back, read the paper and tune in to all the Sunday morning political shows. Nice break.

10-12-98:Today's Bee had another story in their Campaign '98 series.
For the first time, they mentioned my name in relation to the 6th Senate District. I received one sentence in a half page story.

As Ortiz and Quackenbush headed to the stage to answer questions, the Libertarian candidate in the Senate race, Gerald Klaas of Carmichael, received last-minute permission to join them and announced, "I crashed the party. . . . This isn't a horse race. This is about ideas." There was hearty applause.
-- end snip --

The rest of the page was a second 6th Senate story, again no mention of me.

10-13-98: Candidate night at Antelope Middle School. There were about 8 candidates for local school board, plus the 3 candidates for 5th Assembly and then Ortiz, Quackenbush and myself. Although some 600 families were invited, the audience was about 30 people. Each candidate was given 5 minutes to speak, then allowed to answer 4 questions from the audience. I was very pleased. It felt a lot like a classroom to me with so few attendees and no discernable media presence. My five minutes just flew by, and I was asked some specifics about my government funding students not schools position, and also about my position of Prop 5 (Yes).

10-15-98: Busy day. Candidate forum at State Farm Insurance by Cal Expo. Ortiz didn't show for this one. That's too bad, it's so much more fun when I disagree with one of the two on every issue. Chris and I agree on a lot of economic issues, so I wished Deborah had been there to liven the show. As it was, there were about 20 people, and this was moderated by the League of Women Voters, so it followed the standard Q & A format. Again this was very classroom-like, and I was very comfortable. I was pleased when afterward, a few people identified themselves as Democrats, and said that I had a lot of points they agreed with.

In the evening, I attended a reception for Steve Kubby, the Libertarian governor candidate, held at a private residence downtown. Gene Frazier made a terrific introductory speech talking about the four boxes sustaining our free state (soapbox, ballot box, jury box, ammo box). Steve was very upbeat about the progress in getting third party attention in the media, particularly the coverage by CSPAN of the third party gubernatorial debate last week.

After the reception, we hurried over to the cable access studios for a live broadcast of the "Libertarian Conspiracy" show. There were some technical difficulties during the first 5 minutes, but once we got on the air, it went well. I was on with Steve Kubby, his wife Michelle, Joe Farina (AG), and the moderator, Richard Fields.

10-16-98: Today was the candidate forum for Libertarians at CSUS that was set up for us in lieu of being invited to the "real" candidate forums with the "big money party" candidates. Either it wasn't well advertised, or students have a lot better things to do on a fall Friday lunchtime, because our audience was zero. That's right, not a single student showed! Maybe that explains why we're so adamant about getting on stage with the "other guys" so we have something to disagree about!

As it turned out, Gene and I had a terrific lunch in the new University Union with the moderator, Dr. Hodson. I picked up a copy of the latest Hornet newspaper and saw a story about the forum last week with Ortiz, Quackenbush and I. There was even a quote in there from me! Cool.

10-18-98: There was a candidate forum today in Citrus Heights that I wasn't invited to. When I talked to the moderator about it about a week ago, he agreed to read a statement on my behalf, so I mailed one, and took the day off from politics to take my wife to Apple Hill. It was a gorgeous fall day, and we came home with some very nice Fuji apples.

10-19-98: Got a call from the Orangevale Chamber of Commerce today apologizing for not inviting me to the candidate forum tomorrow at Villa Cafe. They were now extending the invitation, which I greatly appreciate, but I had to turn it down as tomorrow is the local Libertarian Candidates' dinner at Chevy's. They agreed to read a statement on my behalf which I FAXed to them.

10-20-98: Terrific night at Chevy's. Libertarian candidates Joe Farina (Attorney General), Jon Petersen (Treasurer), Jesse Baird (Congress 11th), Dan Winterrowd (Congress 4th), Art Tuma (Congress 5th), Gene Frazier (Assembly 5th) and myself attended. There were also about 20 local libertarian party members there all practicing our eternal vigilence for continued freedom. I had a good time, it's nice to preach to the choir once in a while after being the odd man out in the debates between the "big money party" candidates.

10-22-98: Tonight was the last of the big forums before the election. This was held by several Carmichael community associations and moderated by the League of Women Voters. The event was taped for broadcast on Access Sacramento Channel 73 (10/29 6 PM and 10/30 10 AM). I thought it went well. Again I got to talk about campaign financing and ask why it's worth $1.2 million to Ortiz and $900,000 to Quackenbush to land a job that pays $99,000 a year. Other questions were about gun control and education. My answers to those are in my FAQ. This is likely to be the last time the three of us are on a platform together. It's almost an emotional let down, I've kind of grown into this debate the evils of big government in front of people routine. I just might miss it, although I don't think I'll miss live TV, that's still a bit nervous for me.

10-25-98: Today's Sacramento Bee had a special section called Election '98. Half a page was dedicated to Ortiz and Quackenbush, yet no mention of me. I hope The Bee realizes that there are lots of people who know I'm in this race, and The Bee is tarnishing its reputation by excluding coverage. People want to hear third party views on issues, even if they don't vote for the third party candidates. Of course I had to write a letter to the editor on the subject.

10-27-98: I spoke at the Carmichael Chamber of Commerce meeting today. Last month they invited Ortiz and Quackenbush to speak, and I complained when I found out after the event that I hadn't been invited. They invited me to speak at this month's meeting. Other candidates there were Doug Ose (R - 3rd congress), Dave Cox (R- 5th AD), Linda Davis (D - 5th AD) and Gene Frazier (L - 5th AD). We each had four minutes to speak. I thought it went well.

10-28-98: In today's Bee is an announcement of a candidate forum at St. Mark's Methodist Church, sponsored by SacACT (488-1138). Once again, I wasn't invited. Of course I called to ask why. I haven't decided yet whether or not I'll try to crash this forum, I'll have to cut choir practice if I do.

10-29-98: I cut out of choir practice a little early in order to attend the SacACT forum. It turned out that there wasn't an opportunity for me to soapbox my views, it was more like an opportunity to mingle, like a cocktail party, except with cookies and punch instead of scotch and hors d'oeuvres. When I talked to them yesterday, they told me that their concerns were acquiring government funding for afterschool programs, lowering the two thirds requirement for passage of bond issues, and support of Measure S (a local school bond issue). I told them they wouldn't like me much because I am against all of those, but I wanted to attend anyway. I am particularly bothered by the first one, and I told them this, that it seems strange to me that a church group would be looking to the government for funding. Recent cases in the midwest have shown that as soon as the government starts funding private charities, they soon follow with a no religion or prayer edict. I commented that for a church group, that seems like selling your soul to the devil.

10-30-98: My letter was published in The Bee today. Also in today's Bee is an article on the Kubby commercial.

11-02-98: Enjoyed my pre-election weekend. I didn't do anything campaign related. I watched the FreeRepublic ( http://www.FreeRepublic.com ) March for Justice on CSPAN. This was a protest in support of the investigation of Clinton, and a call for morality in government and society. There were several speakers, including Alan Keyes and Larry Klayman.

Klaas for Senate top page

Please feel free to contact me if you have comments or suggestions.

© 1998 Gerald Klaas