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License to Kill By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, September 10, 2003


“THE DRIVER’S LICENSE IS MORE THAN JUST A LICENSE TO DRIVE,” said Democratic California Governor Gray Davis.  “It is one of the primary documents we use to identify ourselves.”

Having thus spoken, Gov. Davis vetoed the bill before him that would have allowed illegal aliens and other criminals to obtain official California driver licenses. 

His veto, issued shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks two years ago this week, came according to Gov. Davis because the bill lacked sufficient safeguards to prevent criminals or terrorists from obtaining this California I.D. and using it to do evil.

But on Friday, September 5, 2003, a recall-threatened Governor Davis signed into law an even weaker bill, stripped of all safeguards by dominant Democrat lawmakers.  If and when it comes into force on January 1, 2004, this law will make it quick and easy for illegal aliens and every other kind of criminal to acquire valid California licenses.

Such licenses, warn experts, are a “gateway I.D.,” a veritable Open Sesame that can be used to obtain credit cards, buy firearms, purchase insurance, register to vote, rent automobiles and trucks, and go through security checkpoints to board airliners like those skyjacked by terrorists on 9-11.  Several of the 9-11 terrorists traveled through our open society with ease because they carried then-easily-obtained Virginia driver licenses.

Almost as bizarre as Gray Davis’ loss of common sense was his loss of honesty. Like other media, Los Angeles radio station KFI each morning has a reporter call the Governor’s Press Office to find out what newsworthy events California’s chief executive has scheduled for the day.  Last Friday KFI and other English-speaking media in the state were told that the Governor had no big events planned.

Alas for Davis, some of this popular station’s personnel speak Spanish. The Los Angeles Latino radio and television stations, they noticed, were urging their audience to come greet Governor Davis at 6 p.m. Friday at a park in predominantly-Hispanic East Los Angeles.

Come join the great celebration, the Spanish language media said, as El Gobernador signs into law this legislation giving “undocumented” aliens easy access to one of the ultimate legal identifying documents, a California driver license.

When English-speaking media tipped off by KFI arrived for this event, it was immediately obvious why Gray Davis and the Democratic Party tried to keep the ceremony hidden from Anglo eyes and ears.

“The predominantly Hispanic crowd waved Mexican flags,” reported Associated Press, “and flags from various Central American countries.” In the crowd one brave protestor had his anti-Davis sign torn from his hands and was threatened with violence.

In a speech that mingled his English with Spanish, Governor Davis told the crowd: “You have the right to drive to work.”

Apparently Mr. Davis forgot that in California, as in other states, nobody has a “right” to drive on public roads.  Driving is a privilege conferred by government on those who meet certain conditions. These conditions include passing written and driving tests, having insurance, and giving “implied consent” to waive genuine rights, such as the Fourth Amendment right not to submit to testing for alcohol or drug use if a California Highway Patrol officer pulls you over. “Freedom,” to paraphrase the old saying, “is not license.”

Apparently Mr. Davis also forgot that he opposes “right to work” laws that protect people from being forced to join and pay Democrat-benefiting dues to any labor union.  Those who committed a crime by entering the United States illegally not only have no “right” to a job, but any employer who knowingly hires them is also in violation of federal law.

What Governor Davis was asserting, in other words, is that he is giving driver licenses to criminals who should be deported from the United States so that these illegal aliens can more easily go to jobs it is illegal for them to have.  He supported crime on top of crime.

Governor Davis’ words were on their face absurd.  Illegal aliens have no need for a California Driver License to be able to drive in California. By bilateral agreement, a Mexican citizen could do this using a Mexican Driver License, protected by Mexican insurance upgraded to cover accidents while in the United States.  California today, reports the Los Angeles Times, has “an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants of driving age.”

“The only purpose of [this new law] is to place valid state identification documents in the hands of illegal immigrants, undermining enforcement of immigration laws,” said State Senator Tom McClintock, a Republican candidate to replace Davis on the October 7th Recall ballot.  This law giving licenses without any criminal background check or reliable identification to those who apply, he added, is “a dangerous measure.”

To understand the concealed agenda behind this new law, let’s take a look at some of those sharing the stage with Governor Gray Davis on September 5th and those politicians who rammed the measure through California’s legislature with debates half-conducted in Spanish and peppered with accusations that any who opposed it were racists.

The legislation’s author, on stage with Davis at its signing, is State Senator Gilbert Cedillo, who represents East Los Angeles. When once asked why he believed illegal aliens should be allowed to remain in the United States, then-California Assemblyman Cedillo replied: “They were here first.”

When a student at the University of California Los Angeles in the 1970s, Cedillo was an activist in the racialist Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, MEChA. The head of UCLA’s incendiary MEChA chapter in that era was Antonio Villaraigosa, later to become Speaker of the lower house of the California legislature and nowadays a Los Angeles City Councilman.  As documented in this column, both Cedillo and Villaraigosa attended and became lawyers with the help of the People’s Law School, a factory for the manufacture of radical leftist lawyers. Villaraigosa was alongside his old comrade Cedillo at the signing of this law.

One of Villaraigosa’s and Cedillo’s closest friends and allies is State Senator Richard Alarcon, who represents the heart of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. A far-Left Democrat like his friends, Alarcon reportedly has been a featured speaker at one banquet for the Communist “People’s Weekly World.”

But this may be more from the red of blood than of politics, because California Senator Alarcon’s sister Evelina is Vice Chair of the Communist Party USA and chair of the Southern California District of the Communist Party USA.  She should be applauded for being far more honest about her politics than her “Democrat” brother is about his. In the insightful words of P.J. O’Rourke, “Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink.”

Communist Party leader Evelina Alarcon was the United Farm Worker Union’s “state coordinator” in its political efforts to enact an official California state holiday for ultra-leftist thug labor caudillo and UFW founder Cesar Chavez, as did then-Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. This holiday and the sanitized image of Chavez are being used to radicalize young people and to legitimize leftist activism.

Another Villaraigosa friend and ally has been Mario Obledo, co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), who was awarded the 1998 Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton.

“California is going to be a Hispanic state,” Mario Obledo has proclaimed, “and anyone who doesn’t like it should leave. They should go back to Europe.”  Does this refer to the Europe that includes Spain and the Spanish language, land from which came the Conquistadors?

This kind of racist MEChA-like thinking has largely taken control of California’s Democratic Party, whose current chairman is veteran politician Esteban “Art” Torres.

“Power is not given to you. You have to take it,” said Torres at a January 1995 Hispanic gathering to discuss non-compliance with Proposition 187 at the University of California Riverside.  “Remember, 187 is the last gasp of White America in California!”  [For audio of Torres’ statement, check out this website.]

Proposition 187 would have denied taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal aliens. It passed with the support of 60 percent of California voters, including 30 percent of Hispanics. Democratic Governor Gray Davis refused to defend it in court. A Federal judge set most of its provisions aside, her entire declared legal rationale for doing so being that “it would hurt people.”

This same Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party, who thrilled to “the last gasp of White America in California,” has attacked GOP recall candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger for having spent the past 16 years on the advisory board of U.S. English. This organization advocates English as the common language for all Americans. (It is now also the world language of diplomacy, science and business, as Latin and French were in previous centuries.)

But U.S. English “has used its English-first message,” said Art Torres, “to hide a more racially divisive agenda.”

The divisive message, truth be told, comes from those like Torres who want to keep Latinos trapped in Spanish-speaking ghettoes.  Torres knows that when Hispanics leave the Barrio, they soon start voting Republican in the same proportion as other Californians. In 2000 Republican President George W. Bush earned 35 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Hispanics have a strong work ethic, deep religious faith, love of children and opposition to abortion more pervasive than in any other ethnic group. As Michael Barone has noted, Hispanic immigrants are familiar with government corruption in their homelands and tend to distrust government. In other words, they are in many ways the exact opposite of everything for which the Democratic Party stands – or lies.

[To be fair, Democrats have offered their own kind of religious faith to Hispanics. Democrats may have led the way in purging the 10 Commandments, Christianity and Judaism from our society. But despite a $38 billion Democrat-caused deficit, California lawmakers and Gray Davis in July allocated $400,000 taxpayer dollars for a shrine in the shape of the Aztec pagan deity Quetzalcoatl.  It will be built in East Los Angeles, in Lincoln Park very close to where Gov. Davis came for his signing ceremony. How odd that he did not mention this commitment of taxpayer money to support pagan religion.]

Already our largest ethnic group and a fast-growing 13 percent of its population, America’s 38.8 million Latinos today – and potentially 60 million by year 2020 – will determine whether the Democratic Party and its socialist, racist politics of class and ethnic warfare survive.

If Hispanics start speaking English and refuse to be Balkanized in the barrio, the Democratic Party is doomed….as Art Torres knows all too well. 

If Latinos can be kept locked up in a Spanish-language ghetto, angry because their lack of English limits their ability to climb America’s ladder of success, then Democrats can enslave Hispanics and use them as Democrats have always used and exploited African-Americans.

Ghettoized Latinos will then have to depend on Democratic politicians to give them government jobs and crumbs from the welfare table. They will have to depend for their news on Spanish-language media such as Univision television and La Opinion newspaper in Los Angeles, both of which have the same owner who not long ago gave a $100,000 political contribution to Governor Gray Davis. Guess what kind of political propaganda his media outlets feed to Spanish-speaking Lost Angelenos while it tells them to rally for Democrats.

Standing just behind Governor Davis at his signing ceremony – probably to pull his puppet strings – was another MEChA-like figure who ought to become better known to those White Americans now taking their last gasp.

This activist is Nativo Lopez, elected in July as President of MAPA, the Mexican American Political Association. Months before that he was head of the public school board in Santa Ana in California’s once-conservative Orange County south of Los Angeles.  He also headed a radical Hispanic grievance organization called Hermandad Mexicana Nacional.

This ethnic demagogue has come to be widely known in Southern California as “the Hispanic Al Sharpton.”

Nativo Lopez believes that Spanish should be the language of California, the language of the future reconquista.  After Californians passed Proposition 227 mandating, in effect, an end to bilingual education, Lopez did all in his power to undermine it.  He lobbied parents to sign waivers so that their children could continue to be taught in Spanish, not English.

“A Santa Ana nonprofit has agreed to pay more than $600,000 to the U.S. Government to settle a case in which prosecutors alleged that Hermandad Mexicana Nacional leader Nativo Lopez wrongly diverted grant money meant for English classes for immigrants,” reported the local Orange County Register newspaper.

After voters passed a $145 million bond issue to build more schools for Santa Ana’s growing families, Nativo Lopez and a Hispanic fellow school board member insisted on managing the proposed construction themselves and personally screening every prospective architectural firm.  While they dithered, legal deadlines were missed that cost taxpayers many millions of dollars.

“Lopez and others,” reports Steven Greenhut in the Orange County Register, “were soliciting the architectural firms for campaign contributions at the same time he was screening the contract applicants.”

In Santa Ana almost three-quarters of the residents speak Spanish at home. But most Hispanic parents want their children to enjoy the path to success that in American opens with speaking English. Many resented Lopez’s high-handed efforts to keep their children in Spanish-only ghettos. Others were infuriated by Lopez’s incompetence and appearance of corruption.

Families in this mostly Hispanic community launched a recall petition against Nativo Lopez, not unlike the petition to recall Gray Davis.

“Lopez responded to the recall effort in a way worthy of a caudillo in a Latin American state,” wrote the Orange County Register’s Steven Greenhut. “His followers harassed those collecting signatures for the petition.”

When this failed to stop the petition from gathering enough recall signatures, Greenhut continues, “Rather than put the measure on the ballot, the school board dominated by Lopez allies…voted to spend $30,000 to hire a consultant who will call a sampling of people who signed the recall petition and ask them if they really knew what they were doing when they signed it. ‘Imagine the possibilities for intimidation,’ said Ron Unz, the co-author of the 1998 initiative, Proposition 227….’Hey, did you really mean to sign this petitition? Didn’t you really mean to support our good friend Nativo?”

Despite such thug-like threatening tactics, notes John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, Nativo Lopez “was recalled by a resounding 71% vote.  He lost every precinct” in this largely-Hispanic city.

But Lopez did have one powerful supporter who traveled all the way from Sacramento to fight against his recall. That friend was Cruz Bustamante, Lt. Governor of the State of California, whose MEChA background as a Hispanic racist was documented in this column.

And days ago this same Nativo Lopez stood behind Gray Davis as the Governor with his pen effectively erased the border separating the United States from Mexico. No wonder Davis wanted no non-Hispanic media to record his moment of shame and betrayal.

In recent days Lt. Gov. Bustamante has said he will divert millions of dollars of potentially illegal campaign contributions from his own October 7 election fund to replace Gray Davis to a fund that with this much cash will probably defeat Ward Connerly’s excellent Racial Privacy Initiative, Proposition 54, on the October 7th ballot. 

In other words, Bustamante wants to continue racial preferences for Hispanics in hiring, university admissions, and other government activities.  Racism is fine with Bustamante, so long as his continues to be the favored race, "la raza."

But his shell-game shuffle of tainted campaign funds is even more cynical than this. Bustamante will be quoted and pictured in the ads opposing Proposition 54 paid for with this dirty money, so in effect it will continue to advance his campaign. And because much of this cash will be used in “get out the vote” efforts, getting voters to the polls on October 7th to vote against Proposition 54 will also put into their hands the ballot on which they can vote for Bustamante.

If he becomes Governor, Bustamante can go far beyond the power he wielded as Lt. Government, member of the University of California Board of Regents, and so forth. His beloved MEChA largely lives on government money from campus funds. As UCLA’s Jacqeline Carrasco said, “Most chapters get their budget from the (tax-funded) schools and sometimes from the associated students. Funds range from $100 to $8,000 for larger schools such as Cal State Northridge.”

But with Cruz Bustamante’s and his fellow Mechistas’ growing power, taxpayer money for MEChA has already risen dramatically. At the University of California San Diego, e.g., 2002-2003 student council funding for MEChA on that campus topped $16,000. And the self-identified leader of MEChA at Cal State Northridge will be joining 75 other Hispanic students this year on a trip to Cuba to learn of the wonders of Fidel Castro’s Communist Workers’ Paradise. Evita Alarcon must be proud.

The Governor facing recall, Gray Davis, probably won few votes by betraying the safety of all Americans. Why would a leftist Hispanic vote to retain him when, instead, Davis could easily be replaced with an even more left-wing choice, Hispanic Cruz Bustamante?  (Ironically, what Bustamante does not remind his racialist supporters is that back in 1993 as an Assemblyman he for complex political reasons voted to prevent illegal aliens from getting driver licenses.)

“Unfortunately,” said Governor Davis two years ago when vetoing a better, tougher bill to give driver licenses to illegal aliens, “a driver’s license was in the hands of terrorists who attacked America” on September 11, 2001. 

Because of the weak bill rammed through by radical Democrat Hispanic activists and signed by this weak Democrat Governor, future terrorists can easily have in their bag of mass-murder weapons the key that will let them sneak through America’s back door, a California driver license. 

A Referendum petition has already begun that, if it gains enough signatures to qualify for the March 2004 California ballot, might prevent this new law from going into effect on January 1, 2004. Perhaps the next Republican governor of California can support that effort.

Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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