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Why are "progressive" dems and repubs silent on Tom Harman?

by John Earl Saturday, Mar. 04, 2006 at 11:22 AM

Tom Harman, supposed progressive republican assemblyman from Huntington Beach, has suddenly jumped on the Minuteman bandwagon. But nobody is saying anything. Why? This is not an article, but a letter similar to one I wrote to an email group I belong to.

In a recent campaign advertisement, thinly disguised as an informative letter to his constituents, Tom Harman (assembly 67th) picked up the Nativist and Neo-Fascist cudgel of his state senate opponent Diane Harke and racistly scapegoated "illegal" immigrants using misinformation and fear in a desparate effort to get votes.

Harman supports various Draconian measures directed at immigrants, including creating a State Border Police to enforce immigration laws. The only such effort now under way for that in California is the ballot measure that Assemblyman Haynes is getting signatures for, once again. This proposed law would create a true police state in California, allowing a state border police to take over local police resources to proactivelly go after "illegal" immigrants in the workplace and elsewhere. It is a horrible piece of law that would also wreck havoc on our local police departments---a total waste of money and human resources for a vile objective.

Harman has also suddenly introduced legislation to take away legal aide to undocumented immigrants in California who need it, thus attempting to deny due process of law and protection for basic human rights to fellow human beings. Another piece of legislation he has introduced would give tax money to police departments that join ICE in enforcing immigration laws. This is the same sort of terror producing, community destructive legislation recently passed in Costa Mesa that harms, not helps, law enforcement (see below).

I wonder how many of Harman's supporters actually support his Born-Again agenda against immigrants. Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt that there are very many among the progressive Republicans and Democrats who form is largest support group. So what is the reason for their silence on that issue? The anti-immigrant rhetoric that Harke and Harman use is being picked up by Neo-Nazi groups across the nation, (a representative of one of them, Martin H. Millard, has been operating in Costa Mesa with ties to its Mayor and two council members), who are gaining influence as a result.

In the 1930s, similar anti-immigrant rhetoric led to the deportation of over a half-million Mexican immigrants from California. Most of them, however, were legal residents, even US citizens. Their property and rights were robbed from them in that horrible episode in our history. And today, it is nonesense to say that the attack on so-called illegal aliens isn't also an attack on immigrants in general. Just go to some CCIR meetings (with HB's Barbara Coe) or Minuteman rallies, as I have done in my reporting, if you don't think so. It's an attack on us all if you believe, as I do, that an" injustice against one is an injustice against all."

If the word "illegals" was replaced with "Jews" would Harman's supporters still be silent? I doubt it. How soon we forget...Rather than following in the footsteps of past crimes against humanity by declaring fellow humans "illegal" and blaming them for the problems that our government backed corporations have largely created, we should be looking for rational and humane solutions.

In my view, Harman's deplorable Nativist rhetoric contradicts the the claim that he is good for Huntington Beach. Just look at the horrible things happening to the otherwise wonderful city of Costa Mesa. Do we want that ugliness in Huntington Beach? We need good leaders to stand up for what is right, not cynically try to co-opt a vicious, divisive and growing agenda that represents a great danger to our nation.

I know I risk upsetting some of Harman's most loyal supporters,some of whom I have worked together with on other issues and will always be willing to work with where we have common ground. But I will look beyond the borders of Huntington Beach when I cast my vote, if i cast it.


John Earl

For more information about the Costa Mesa situation feel free to check out the following links: and other links at

Here is the text of Harman's letter:

"Dear Neighbor,

"It's time for the politicians in Sacramento and Washington D.C. to find real solutions to the illegal immigration problem.

"The truth is, on fo the major reasons that California has a budget shortfall every year is the billions that the tate spends on services (including incarceration) for illegal immigrants.

"The time for endless talk is over. It's time for action!

"And if the Mexican government doesn't like the new "get tough" policies, too bad. It's time to start running this tate and this nation for citizens and people who come here legally, not foreigh leaders or illegal immigrants.

"It's an honor to represent you in the State Assembly.

"Real Solutinos to Ilegal Immigration

"Secrure the Border, Now!

California must demand that the federal government to its job and secure this nation's borders. This means a longer wall and more Border Patrol agents. California shold do its part by creating the California Border Police to back up those Border Patrol agents.

"Stop Making Illegal Immigration Easy!

No driver's lisecenses for illegal immigrants. No welfare. And law enforcement must have the tools and resources they need to arrest illegal immigrants they discover living here now.

"Tough Punishments for Illegal Alien Felons!

California's prisons and jails are literally over-crowded with illegal immigrant felons, many of them murderers and drug smugglers. It's time to get tough and demand that their nations of origin pay for their incarceratoin of face sanctions."

Go to Harman's website at: and email him at

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