By Stacy Drake
Conservative supporters of Chuck DeVore seem outraged that Sarah Palin didn’t endorse their candidate for the California GOP Senate Primary race to take on Barbara Boxer in the November election. To them, it seemed like the likely thing for her to do and I know DeVore himself had asked for the nod. DeVore’s supporters are operating, to this day on the notion that their guy is the “one true Conservative in the race.” They run off of emotion and perception but they are omitting many facts about the Senate race and about Chuck DeVore himself with their analysis.
I’m going to go through a series of things I feel (this is all my opinion and speculation) as to why Chuck DeVore did not deserve a Sarah Palin endorsement. I’ll be writing a short series of posts on the matter, starting with this one.
An article came out on Friday in the Los Angeles Times titled “Chuck DeVore has a staunch conservative record.”On the surface, the headline and the picture that accompanied it, made the article look like some sort of Chuck DeVore fluff piece. However, once you read the content of the article, it is very clear that this is no fluff piece at all. In fact, the article is reminiscent of Chuck DeVore himself. “Strong,” “Conservative,” and “patriotic” on the outside…. Somewhat shallow, untruthful, and slightly corrupt on the inside.
There are many telling revelations cited within the article. DeVore’s supporters get over-heated at the assertion that Chuck had used a misleading title on the voter ballot and ‘fudged’ his military record a bit. But the article states:
During a radio debate with them in early March, DeVore talked of being the sole candidate in the Senate race with military experience. “I’m a lieutenant colonel of military intelligence within the U.S. Army,” he said. His campaign material shows he’s a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army retired reserves.
His actual title is “Retired Reserve” and nowhere in his title on the ballot or listed in the description on the Primary Voter Guide does the word “retired” exist. Not to say he went as far as Richard Blumenthal in ‘fudging’ his record, but it’s clear to me that Chuck DeVore tried to create a certain perception about his biography. After all, his own supporters have told me that Chuck has “served in Afghanistan.” I doubt they will use that as a debate talking point again in the future.
I’m not going to harp on that issue though because I fail to see what good it does. I’m also not going to rip Chuck DeVore over another claim made in the L.A. Times piece about whether or not he was shot at in Lebanon. DeVore uploaded an audio clip of that incident and the file clearly sounds like the group he was with had been shot at and returned fire. Read the piece and then listen to the file here for yourself to make your own determination. This is, I think another distraction.
There are yet more accusations disclosed in the L.A. Times article that have not been dealt with by the DeVore campaign at all. These are the items I chose to discuss because they haven’t been talked about in the media or the blogoshere. There are serious charges made that would easily negate an endorsement from an anti-corruption hawk and proponent of honest government like Sarah Palin.
For starters, the fact that Chuck DeVore attempted to take credit for the The Arrow “antitactical ballistic missile” program, a system designed to defend Israel. In 1986 DeVore worked for Margo Carlisle in the Reagan Administration. Records show he was hired because
“officials were impressed with DeVore’s service as an Army Reserve officer; the officials also noted his GOP campaign experience and the fact that DeVore’s mother chaired the Fullerton Republican Women’s Club.
DeVore’s references included Chief White House Science Advisor William Graham, a family friend from Mammoth Lakes, where DeVore went to high school and where his father owned an auto parts store.”
DeVore worked at the Pentagon for Carlisle, who was the assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs. While there he managed to boost his own role in the creation of a vital weapons system for Israel and diminish Duncan Hunter’s work in the process. The article says:
While working at the Pentagon, DeVore says in his campaign literature, his “initiative helped develop the Arrow Anti-Ballistic Missile program.” The Arrow was proposed in 1986 as a way for Israel to defend itself from potential missile attacks from Iraq, Iran, Syria and other hostile nations.
DeVore, who was 25 at the time, said he approached U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, a San Diego County Republican, with an idea on how to skirt the congressional opposition to Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative — popularly known as “Star Wars.” Democrats had attacked the program as costly, ineffective and in violation of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union.
If the U.S. funded an Israeli-built missile defense system, the U.S. would be able to study that country’s test data without violating any prohibitions on missile-defense testing in the U.S., DeVore said. He said he told Hunter that with the support of pro-SDI Republicans and pro-Israel Democrats, the proposal was sure to win congressional approval, which it eventually did.
“So in his office, I dictated to him a “Dear Colleague” letter that he personally typed up on his Selectric typewriter,” DeVore said. “Within a week, Duncan Hunter had 40-plus signatures — House and Senate, Republican and Democrats, that went to Reagan and [then-Defense Secretary Caspar] Weinberger … the idea was born.”
Hunter was then a Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. In a recent interview, he recalled DeVore as a staunch advocate of the Arrow program on behalf of the Reagan administration — but Hunter said he wrote the letter, and pursued the idea, on his own.
“I drafted the letter that was signed by members of the Armed Services Committee, recommending that Israel embark on the missile defense program,” said Hunter, whose son now represents that congressional district.
Hunter said that he and members of the Reagan administration were working on ways to develop defenses to medium-range missiles at that time, so it would be difficult to credit any one person for the successful funding of the Arrow missile.
“No one in the administration said, ‘It was my idea’ — DeVore included,” Hunter said.
Duncan Hunter honorably served California’s 52nd, 45th and 42nd House districts from 1981 to 2009. His district elected his son to replace him after his retirement. Hunter was easily my favorite Congressman while he was in office, and he served this community well. I have a tremendous respect for the man and if this issue comes down to believing him or believing Chuck DeVore I can safely say, ‘no contest.’ It sort of angers me that DeVore would use Duncan Hunter’s hard work as resume padding.
This is an example of dishonesty from Chuck DeVore. We all make mistakes but to take credit for something that massive… Well, that could only come from someone with an ego on the same scale.
I know DeVore supporters will attack me for writing these pieces. They are convinced he is their California Conservative savior and I am just some sort of hater out to promote Sarah Palin’s agenda at any cost. They have it backwards. I know Sarah Palin’s record and I believe she and her staff take a thorough look at candidates before they give a stamp of approval. I also don’t believe that Chuck DeVore is the person his supporters think he is. I am frankly astonished that some in the Tea Party can stand so strongly behind a guy that merely tells them what they want to hear. Yes, Chuck DeVore is a very good salesman in my estimation. He knows how to sell a certain product to a certain crowd.
I realize California Conservatives are starved for a leader that actually shows signs of being a real Conservative. I am one, I live here, I get it. But before you throw the ONE TRUE CONSERVATIVE in the country that is taking the lead in the fight against the Obama agenda, under the bus, you better be sure you know who you are propping up in the process.