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Bill Orton
(D-Long Beach)

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Statement of ending support for Senator John McCain

From the desk of...
Bill Orton, Chairman
California Sunshine Fund

October 8, 2005

You may have missed a piece in today's news reporting that Arizona Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) intends to campaign in California in support of the four "reform" measures being advocated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar.

If interested, you can pick it up at:

I regret the decision of the gentleman to sign on with Arnold's agenda, which aims to back the big-money fat cats over the rights of ordinary working people.

I have made clear for a long time my admiration of Senator McCain. This year, he led a group of Senate moderates to a compromise over judicial nominations that avoided the so-called "nuclear option" and just last week he led 90 members of the Senate to soundly rebuff the Administration over the treatment of detainees in the War on Terror.

But because the stakes are so high in the November 8th special election, it becomes impossible for me to accept the presidential ambitions of the gentleman from Arizona in light of his endorsement of Propositions 74, 75, 76 and 77.

I have spent months researching and forming the structure of a political action network that would raise money through direct mail to support John McCain's presidential election. I have bounced off ideas among my closest friends within the Democratic party. I have sought an advisory opinion and been engaged with the office of the general counsel of the Federal Elections Commission over details of such a fundraising effort.

But all that shall cease.

No longer shall I support the Senator's bid for President. No longer can I view the gentleman from Arizona as someone for whom I could go to California Democrats with a letter on my signature asking for dollars.

I admire the gentleman, and still view him to be a great American.

But I shall forthrightly file papers with the Federal Elections Commission disbanding the California Sunshine Fund, which was the non-affiliated polticial action committee that I established in July to raise money to support the gentleman in his presidential aspirations.

Further, with election day just a matter of weeks away, I urge voters in California to cast their ballot against the agenda of our Governor.

Being pro-choice, I urge a NO vote on Prop 73.

I urge NO on Props 74, 75, 76, and 77, as the Governor should not be setting sea-change policies through the conduct of an expensive and guaranteed-low-turnout special statewide election.

I urge a NO vote on the drug industry's sham Prop 78.

And while it would be nice if the final two measures passed, for the simple sake of consistency, I urge NO IN NOVEMBER on all measures, as this special election is a bad way to do business in our state.

Wishing you well as we draw near to the holidays, I am,


William R. "Bill" Orton

BACKGROUND: See the aborted fundraising letter and remit envelope Bill developed for the California Sunshine Fund in July 2005. No funds were raised or spent, owing to F.E.C. rules that precluded using the phrase "California Democrats FOR John McCain." While Bill went back and forth with F.E.C. lawyers on that question , Senator McCain came out on the Schwarzenegger special election, prompting the above message, which Bill sent to his personal email list of 600 supporters.

Bill Orton is a writer and historian living in Long Beach, California.