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The Register

CIBPAC sought spoiler before
by Daniel M. Weintraub

The Orange County Register, March 28, 1996, News Section, Page 22

The California Independent Business PAC (Political Action Committee) - linked in grand jury transcripts to the recruitment of a Democatic spoiler in the Doris Allen recall election - according to a Democrat turned Republican from Los Angeles County.

Andy Ramirez of Pomona (West Covina), then a Democrat, ran in the race to succeed Assemblyman Paul Horcher when Horcher was recalled a year ago by GOP forces angry at him for voting to retain Democrat Willie Brown as Assembly Speaker.

Ramirez who has since become a Republican, told the Orange County Register that Catherine Rayner from CIBPAC called him while he was pondering his run. Rayner, Ramirez said, offered to reimburse him for the $720 it would cost to file his nominating papers.

Ramirez says he told Rayner he wouldn't mind getting some help. (Actually, I said if they sent money, I wanted the actual contributions donated to be $99 dollars per donation, as $100 triggers the reporting threshold, unlike $99 which is just below the disclosure amount.) A few days later a (single) check arrived (for the amount of $720) from a conservative group based in Sacramento. The candidate held the check for awhile before returning it, he said, because he feared that the connection with Republican would taint his campaign among Democratic voters.

"I just kept asking myself,'Does this look like a bribe to get into the race?'" Ramirez recalled in an interview. "In the end, I decided to refuse it." Rayner could not be reached for comment.

Recruiting candidates from the opposition party is not against the law.In the Orange County case, the district attorney has alleged that those involved broke the law because they gathered sigatures to qualify Democrat Laurie Campbell for the ballot and then conspired with Campbell to hide the fact that Republicans had circulated her petitions.

Daily Bulletin

"Horcher foe goes to GOP…Losing candidate rips former party"

"Ramirez, 27, flanked by Rep. David Dreier, R-28th District, and Charles House, executive director of the L.A. County Republican Party, said he no longer thinks the Democratic Party is the "party of the people. There is not a place for conservatives in the Democratic Party with Willie Brown around."

Ramirez lost to Horcher last November. Less than a month later, Horcher left the GOP and cast the deciding vote to keep Brown as Speaker even though Republicans won a majority of seats in the State Assembly. Outraged, Horcher's constituents and the Republican Party launched a recall against him. When the measure qualified for the ballot, Ramirez offered himself as the Democratic alternative in the event Horcher was recalled. Democrats urged him not to run, arguing his presence could help the recall and force the party out of power in Sacramento.

Dreier, whom Ramirez briefly ran against last year before deciding to run for the Assembly, said Ramirez's switch is a symptom of problems with the Democratic Party and its message. Ramirez was also compared to Democratic Members of Congress who have recently defected to the GOP.

"If you look across the country, there's a trend toward Democrats becoming Republicans. That's because the Democrats are bankrupt of ideas, California Republican Party spokesman Phil Paule stated."

*Note: Horcher was recalled & hired by Willie Brown to work in the San Francsico Waste Management Department.

Wert, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, May 31, 1995

San Diego Union-Tribune

"Democrat vying for Horcher seat must skate past Willie Brown, too"

"Ramirez is the lone Democrat on the ballot May 16 in a Republican-leaning suburban Los Angeles district, where the GOP will try to recall its archdefector, Assemblyman Paul Horcher of Whittier.

Horcher (after being re-elected) switched from Republican to Decline to State last December and cast the vote that continued the 14-year reign of Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, D-San Francisco. Now angry Republicans say it's payback time and more.

If Horcher is replaced with a Republican, the GOP should have the votes needed to break a deadlock and oust Brown, either immediately or later in the year as vacant seats are filled.

In the quirky world of politics here is where things get interesting. Ramirez said Brown and his lieutenants spent three months trying to talk him out of running, even dangling a job and hints of future help.

Why? Because Brown promised to defend Horcher. If there is a Democrat on the ballot, hard-core Democratic voters might reject the independent Horcher (a former Republican they voted against for years) and support a member of their own party.

"You have never known me to be guided by prudence," Brown said last week. "Loyalty is more important."

Campaign contribution reports for the first three months of the year showed that Democrats helped raise $435,000 for Horcher. He used $115,000 to pay off part of a campaign debt he has been carrying since 1990.

There is still time for Democrats, with or without Brown's blessing, to aid Ramirez. But Ramirez is vowing not to vote for Brown as Speaker.

In fact, Ramirez has asked prosecutors to look at harassment he allegedly suffered while filing at the last minute. He said Brown's aides, who had the registrar's office staked out, handed him a cellular phone for one final plea from a Brown lieutenant.

'I dont worry about safety," Ramirez said of the confrontation. I can take care of myself. I'm an ex-hockey player.'"

-Ed Mendel, San Diego Union Tribune, April 24, 1995

Daily Bulletin

The recall effort against one of those members, Inland Valley Assemblyman Paul V. Horcher, Decline to State-60th District, who voted for Brown and bolted the Republican Party Monday, is picking steam locally.

Meanwhile, Horcher's Democratic opponent in November's Assembly election, Andrew Ramirez, said Thursday an aide to Speaker Brown advised him to "stay away " from the recall effort.

Ramirez also said Democratic Assemblyman Louis Caldera D-Los Angeles asked him, "What can we do to save Horcher?" "I certainly did not encourage him," (Ramirez), said Caldera, who strongly backed a move to remove another Republican from the Assembly, which would have paved the way for a Brown victory.

He deserves it," Ramirez said of the recall. "He ran as something he wasn't and eroded the faith of his constituents." Ramirez said he wouldn't have voted for Brown "because he didn't do anything to help me achieve my goal of winning this district."

*Note: The recall occurred as California elected 41 Republicans to the State Assembly and Horcher changed his registration and voted for Willie Brown as Assembly Speaker. Brown, as Senior Member would be Speaker in a tie vote. Brown was later elected as Mayor of the City of San Francisco. Louis Caldera was appointed by President Clinton as Secretary of the Army in 1998."

-David Wert, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, December 9, 1994

Daily Bulletin

"Ontario…Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Election Grid Campaign Reform-"

Andrew Ramirez: "Introduce legislative accountability act making politicians live by the same laws that we do. Enact spending limits. Prosecute candidates (and officeholders) who disregard pledges (and oaths) under penalty of perjury."

-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, April 23, 1995

Claremont Courier

"Ramirez readies election drive"

"He says that the main issue of 1994 will be jobs, particularly Mr. Dreier's support of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mr. Ramirez argued that the treaty may bring 65,000 jobs in Mexico, but will provide no new jobs in the United States. "I think that one should be more interested in creating 65,000 jobs within the United States." NAFTA, Mr. Ramirez went on, will force the US to make concessions.

He also described himself as an advocate for children and the homeless. "I think we are spending too much money overseas and not enough money at home", he said.

*Note: Rep. David Dreier now serves as the Chairman of the House Rules Committee.

-Claremont Courier, July 28, 1993

Daily Bulletin

SGV Tribune

"A West Covina college student elected Chairman of a local Democratic Party central committee will announce today he plans to run against Republican U.S. Representative David Dreier next year.

Andrew Ramirez, 25, who has been attending Mt San Antonio College in Walnut, is one of the party's youngest officials. Ramirez then joined with other members of the California College Democrats to win key central committee seats and gain more influence for the party's youngest constituency.

Andrew Ramirez described himself as a conservative Democrat who grew up liking the Reagan administration's policies during the 1980s."

-Steven Tamaya, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, July 17, 1993

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