OC's Scariest People

Our Congressional delegation tops this year’s list of 33 villains (31 for October, plus two more to get to the Dia de los Muertos, ese)

But change his mind on the Iraq War? Nobody from Campbell's office returned our requests to clarify his current position, but there's no indication he's backed away from his previous views. According to his web site, Campbell blames the lack of progress on Iraq on liberals and the American media. "Since Election Day, the 'mainstream' press has gone quiet about Iraq," he says. "Of course, much of that journalistic activity during 2004 was intended to make President Bush look bad and to elect John Kerry as president. That effort failed. But the war in Iraq is not failing. . . During the Civil War, the 'Howard Deans' and 'Dan Rathers' of that day did not understand the importance of winning the conflict. But its grand purpose was clear to many soldiers then, and it is clear to historians now."

VOTED IN FAVOR OF WAR: Yes
VOTED TO FUND THE WAR: Yes
WHERE HE STANDS NOW:"Clearly, there has been progress on the ground. . . . ?There are obviously still many challenges over there, not the least of which are political. But it makes no sense to precipitously make more rapid troop withdrawals and risk a massive destabilization of the region when we can reduce troop levels while maintaining control."

 

5) ED ROYCE

Although he's easily overshadowed by louder Republican colleagues, the eight-term Fullerton representative (who has been called a "flesh-colored snooze button" and characterized as having the charisma of a "lawn chair" in our pages past) has quietly used his weight to influence some of the scariest decisions in the country. Royce has a knack for conflating terrorism with illegal immigration and is a big fan of prayer. He strongly favored making the Patriot Act permanent; he succeeded in getting the House to remove language for a guest-worker program from the House immigration-reform bill; he has opposed giving undocumented immigrants licenses; and he was a key figure in getting the Real ID Act added to one of the supplemental Iraq spending bills. He also voted twice to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and he supports giving federal aid only to public schools that permit prayer.

When it comes to Iraq, Royce has a solid pro-war voting record. As a member of the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees, he was one of the few representatives who had a chance to question General David Petraeus during the release of his report on the state of the war in Iraq in September. "Give us your unvarnished opinion on the progress that's being made or not being made by Iraqi military units," he asked the general. What he got was a mixed answer: Some things good, and some things are not so good. And so Royce remains "cautiously optimistic" about the state of affairs in Iraq, but he's disappointed "that there isn't political movement for reconciliation between the ethnic groups, and it's that challenge that has many of us worried.''

VOTED IN FAVOR OF WAR: Yes
VOTED TO FUND THE WAR: Yes
WHERE HE STANDS NOW: Royce's office has not responded to the Weekly's requests for an update on his position.

 

6) GARY MILLER

This Republican has been a staunch supporter of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here at home, his interests lie in making money—even if that means bending the rules to do so.

Labeled one of "The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress" by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in 2006, Miller has been involved in several controversial real-estate deals. Most prominently, he avoidded 2002 paying taxes on a $10 million profit he made from land sales in Monrovia by saying the land was under threat of eminent domain—a claim that Monrovia city officials continue to deny. And in 2005, Miller pushed a provision in that year's transportation bill that resulted in the closure of the Rialto airport and allowed his business partners and frequent campaign contributors, Lewis Operating, to purchase the land for development. The deal made Miller millions, has resulted in an investigation by the FBI and raised flags that House ethics rules had been violated.

But despite all that, earlier this year, Miller was named as the ranking member of the Oversight and Investigative subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services. Nice one. He has consistently voted for funding the Iraq War. He also voted to build a fence along the Mexican border to "secure the country from terrorists," but he did not support pulling troops out of Iraq in May because pulling them out would mean "that we don't support the commander in chief," "emboldening the terrorist enemies."

VOTED IN FAVOR OF WAR: Yes
VOTED TO FUND THE WAR:Yes, without timetables
WHERE HE STANDS NOW: Annnnnd another no-comment.

 

7) KEN CALVERT

After managing his family's Corona restaurant for several years, Calvert went into the real-estate market, until the allure of public service beckoned him to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1993. (If you haven't heard of the guy, you probably don't live in San Clemente; the rest of his district is pure Inland Empire.) It certainly didn't take long for the Republican to make a name for himself as a politician. During Calvert's first year in office, a Corona police officer pulled him over in the company of a woman who had a rap sheet featuring arrests for prostitution and heroin possession. He was busy buttoning up his pants but claimed, according to the police report, that he and his lady friend were "just talking."

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