Dreier makes bid for 14th term in Congress

first_imgAlthough he has already been out walking precincts, Rep. David Dreier made it official Tuesday: He will seek a 14th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dreier, chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, made the announcement outside the Sheriff’s headquarters here surrounded by about 30 supporters, including Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who has agreed to serve as campaign chairman. “This man understands what discipline means,’ Baca told the crowd. “He has a perspective to care for those who may not care for him.’ San Dimas Mayor Curtis Moore said, “We would be stupid not to return David to Congress.’ Stephen J. Ipsen, president of the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, was on hand to counter Cooley. Ipsen called on his fellow prosecutors to “lower your egos’ and get behind the legislation. The intense focus on illegal immigration at the kickoff is clearly a response to the 2004 election, in which radio talk show hosts John Koblyt and Ken Chiampou of KFI-AM’s “The John and Ken Show’ urged conservative voters to make Dreier a “political human sacrifice’ for taking too soft a stand on illegal immigration. Dreier won by thinnest margin of any congressman in the state. It was also his closest election since he first entered Congress in 1980. Illegal immigration is expected to be a major issue in the 2006 election as well. Hard-liners already are trying to recruit a “viable’ conservative to challenge Dreier in the primary. One name that recently cropped up is John March, father of slain Temple Station sheriff’s deputy David March. “I think if John March were to run it would create a lot of difficulty for Dreier in the current environment,’ said Mike Spence, president of the Monrovia-based California Republican Assembly. “His son died because of the federal government’s unwillingness to do anything about illegal immigration.’ March reportedly declined the offer to run. But La Canada Flintridge businessman S. Sonny Sardo said he will again challenge Dreier and will make illegal immigration a focal point of his campaign. Sardo lost the primary to Dreier in 2004 by a wide margin. “Regardless of his immigration rhetoric, his votes always end up encouraging more illegal immigration one way or another,’ Sardo said last week. Dreier appears to be readying a more potent defense this time around. In addition to having Baca on his team, he has $2.7 million in campaign funds on hand, and has the clear support of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. Hastert recently gave Dreier some leadership duties after House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, was indicted last week. And when the House takes up immigration reform later this year, Hastert is expected to give Dreier a prominent role in pushing the bill. “We think Chairman Dreier will be an asset to the Speaker on that,’ said a spokesman in Hastert’s office. Still, Dreier may continue to be plagued from the far-right in his party, who have been increasingly critical of his votes in favor of stem cell research and against constitutional amendments to ban flag burning and gay marriage. Gary Scott can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4458, or by e-mail at160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Dreier, R-Glendora, said he chose to kick off his campaign earlier than usual to bring focus to what he said are the central issues now facing Congress: expanding the economy, reining in federal spending, providing relief to the Gulf Coast region and fighting terrorism. But immigration reform and border security figured most prominently in Dreier’s speech, seemingly an acknowledgment that he must push the issue in this campaign or be exposed to the verbal drubbing he endured last year from hard-line immigration foes. “I believe very strongly in our national security and an important part of that is border security,’ Dreier, 53, said. Linking the region’s “crowded schools, crowded hospitals, crowded freeways and crowded jails’ to illegal immigration, Dreier pledged to fight for more federal assistance to help stem the tide of immigrants across the border as well as to cover the cost to California taxpayers. Dreier also touted recent legislation to make murdering a police officer and fleeing the country a federal crime. Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley recently criticized the bill as “unworkable and unnecessary’ and a capitulation “to the Mexican government’s penal theories.’ last_img

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Dreier makes bid for 14th term in Congress