SPECIAL REPORT / ELECTION PREVIEW :...

Profile

WILLIAM DANNEMEYER

* Born: Sept. 22, 1929. Montebello

* Residence: Fullerton

* Current position: Retired

* Education: Bachelor's degree, Valparaiso University, 1950; law doctorate, Hastings Law School, 1952.

* Career highlights: U.S. Army, 1953-54; Orange County deputy district attorney, Fullerton, 1955-57; assistant city attorney, Fullerton, 1959-62; member, California Assembly, 1963-66 (as a Democrat), 1976-77 (Republican); member, U.S. House, 1979-93.

* Family: Married to Evelyn, 1955; children Bruce, Kim and Susan.

The Record

William Dannemeyer left a House seat in 1993 to challenge appointed U.S. Sen. John Seymour in the 1992 Republican primary. Dannemeyer offered himself as the conservative alternative to Seymour, but he lost by a margin of nearly 2-to-1.

Dannemeyer has been a champion of the religious right during his years in Congress and on the campaign trail. He charges that the Constitution's guarantees of free speech and freedom of religion are under attack largely due to the U.S. Supreme Court and its decisions against voluntary school prayer and separation of church and state.

Dannemeyer gained a national reputation in the mid-1980s when he became an outspoken opponent of homosexuality and he sponsored a number of controversial AIDS bills.

In 1989, Dannemeyer authored a book critical of homosexuality and describing a militant gay political movement.

The Speech: In His Own Words

Winston Churchill is supposed to have said there are two things that are difficult in life, one is climbing a fence that is leaning toward you and the other is kissing a girl that is leaning away from you. To the third list of difficulties, I will add, "How do we defeat Dianne Feinstein in November?"

I think the answer to that question is that we nominate somebody on behalf of the Republican Party who is in contrast to the liberal policies that Dianne Feinstein has pursued, rather than a clone of that person.

I want to dispel a rumor that has been floating around. Somebody has said improperly that I don't like Texas or Texans. That's not true. I like Texas and Texans. I just don't happen to believe that Texas should have three U.S. senators serving in the United States Senate. We should have two and Texas should have two. And the reason I say that is that my principal opponent, Congressman Michael Huffington, first voted in California in 1992. I am a native of California.

Have you noticed a similarity between marriage and those of us who have served in public life with a voting record? If our spouse would reveal everything they know about us, my suspicion is it could alter the image we seek to depict for our own lives. Similarly our voting record, I believe, will describe what we believe and what we stand for far more distinctly and clearly than any television or radio spots we may be putting on the tube to describe ourself.

Michael Huffington has a voting record. Bill Dannemeyer has a voting record. Let me give you an example. Michael Huffington voted for the family leave act. President Bush vetoed that in the last Congress. I voted against that. Only two Republicans in the House delegation voted for it, one of whom was Michael Huffington.

In May of '93, when the Clinton tax increase plan was on the floor of the House for a vote, Michael Huffington was the only Republican in the House delegation to vote against the Republican House leadership alternative to that plan.

In September of 1993, an amendment was offered to rescind the ban of homosexuals in the military. Eleven Republicans in the House of Representatives of the 175 voted to rescind the ban. Michael Huffington was one of those 11.

In October of 1993, a bill was up to reauthorize the National Endowment for the Arts. Two of the 22 Republicans in the (California) House delegation voted to reauthorize the National Endowment for the Arts. Michael Huffington was one of the two.

My friends, my votes on those issues are the opposite of where Michael Huffington finds himself. If we want to defeat Dianne Feinstein, we need to nominate a person on behalf of the Republican Party who is an economic conservative and a social conservative. It is one thing to put on the tube Bill Bennett's "Book of Virtues." I don't believe somebody who votes to rescind the ban on homosexuals in the military can align themselves with that.

Michael Huffington is also a supporter of what the abortion crowd calls the freedom of choice act. . . . I am, without apology, a pro-life person. . . .

We came close to defeating Barbara Boxer with our conservative, Bruce Herschensohn. We would have won but for the fact there was a tide running on the political left that really brought in President Clinton. When our nominee John Seymour was opposed against Dianne Feinstein he lost by a bigger margin than (Herschensohn). And the reason I believe that Herschensohn ran much closer was because he identified himself to the people of California as an economic conservative and a social conservative, which Bill Dannemeyer is.

We Republicans have to give the conservative Democrats and the Perot voters, of whom there were 20% in the November, 1992, election, a reason for voting for Republicans. And we give them that reason when we make clear that we are the party that wants to lower taxes, not raise them, to restrain the growth of government spending. And when I see a member of Congress like Michael Huffington . . . putting a burden on the small businessman by voting for family leave, my friends, I do not define that person either as an economic conservative or a social conservative but I define him as an economic liberal and a social liberal. And I'm suggesting that if we Republicans want to win this Senate race and retire Dianne Feinstein, that Bill Dannemeyer is the person we should nominate.

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