Former LA Mayor Riordan At LB Luncheon:
"CA Is The Most Business-Unfriendly State in the Union Now"
CA "Is Headed For Major, Major Trouble...We Need A Revolution In This State To Totally Turn Things Around"
"All We Have In Sacramento Is A Leaderless Governorship...Ultra Left Wing Democrats Who Control the Legislature...[And] Ultra Right Wing Republicans Who Don't Know How To Get Inside Of The Bathroom Door"
Riordan's New L.A. Publication Will Debut in June
(February 2, 2003) -- Delivering plain spoken, bipartisan criticism of CA's current political leadership, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan said California has now become "the most business unfriendly state in the Union" and needs "a revolution...to totally turn things around."
In extemporaneous remarks as keynote speaker for a February 2 luncheon, part of the International Downtown Association's "Downtown Institute" taking place at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, the moderate Republican told attendees:
"I think we're headed for major, major trouble...[W]e need a revolution in this state to totally turn things around. Right now, all we have in Sacramento is a leaderless Governorship, we have ultra left wing Democrats who control the legislature and we have ultra right wing Republicans who don't know how to get inside of the bathroom door [audience laughter]."
Earlier, Mr. Riordan said, "California is the most business-unfriendly state in the Union now. Sure, we have to increase taxes but what we ought to do at the same time is cut out a lot of these rules, laws, regulations and other things that are so unfriendly to business, get some balance if we're going to keep businesses."
Mr. Riordan sought to become Governor Riordan last year, but Republicans nominated Bill Simon in their party primary. The Davis campaign targeted Riordan in the weeks leading up to the GOP primary, helping steer voters into a Simon candidacy that Davis went on to demolish in November.
Mr. Riordan said "a lot of the Democratic business leaders and Republican business leaders are behind an effort to have an open primary now...and have primary where moderate people have a chance of being elected...You [currently] see no long term strategy coming out of Sacramento."
Asked by LBReport.com what he'd do to get rid of CA's red ink if he were Governor, Mr. Riordan said:
I think you need a strategic plan. Make it less costly to do business in California. Make it cost half as much for workers comp, health care, paid leave...A lot of the stuff that costs you to build new houses, it costs so much because of environmental things, union rules, change all those in return for having to increase taxes.
Also increasing taxes, start charging a sales tax for services. Why should services be treated any differently than any thing?...
And then Davis has hired in the last four years 43,000 more state employees. I think you've got to get back to where it was.
Responding to an audience question about the start date for a new Los Angeles weekly newspaper he's launching, Mr. Riordan said a prototype has been printed and regular publication would start in the beginning of June.
He added, "It's a lot of fun, and it's a lot of work, and people tell me I'm crazy..."
Among the LB VIPs LBReport.com spotted in the audience (not an all-inclusive list) were Downtown Long Beach Associates Board President & Int'l City Bank Pres. & CEO Jane Netherton, DLBA President & CEO Kraig Kojian and Cable TV "Straight Talk" host Art Levine.