- The Washington Times - Monday, February 2, 2009


Sometimes I just don’t get the Republican Party.

Back in 2004, a smart, good-looking moderate Republican Hispanic ran for Congress. At the time Victor Elizalde was just under 40 years old and working as an executive at a big-time Hollywood studio. As an ethnic minority, a family man and a rare open conservative in an industry dominated by liberals, Mr. Elizalde represented hope and change for the Republican Party.

Yet because he was running for Henry A. Waxman´s safe seat, Mr. Elizalde got no support from the Republican Party . In fact, no one in the party´s leadership took notice of him. As a result Mr. Waxman trounced Mr. Elizalde with 71 percent of the vote.

Mr. Elizalde has since moved on with his life and is no longer pursuing a political career. What a major waste of talent. Yet again, I blame the conservative movement and the Republican Party for writing off Hollywood completely.

Mr. Waxman has run virtually uncontested for 35 years now. And he causes nothing but problems for Republicans. To hear him speak, you´d think the Grand Old Party is the No. 1 scourge in the world. Yet Republicans are nice to him and do nothing to hold him accountable for his miserable failure as Hollywood’s key congressional representative in Washington.

In 2006, Time magazine dubbed him “The Scariest Guy in Washington,” touting that Mr. Waxman has spent the previous “eight years churning out some 2,000 headline-grabbing reports, blasting the Bush administration and the Republican Congress on everything from faulty prewar intelligence and flaws in missile defense to the flu-vaccine shortage and arsenic in drinking water.” Two years later, Britain’s Guardian newspaper similarly described him as “the scariest politician in Washington.”

Since Mr. Waxman was first elected to office in 1974 to represent much of the entertainment business’s core working population, many of the industry´s rank-and-file jobs have flown the coop. Film and television production have gone to places like Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and beyond - because California is no longer hospitable for doing business.

According to a recent report from the Center for Entertainment Industry Data and Research, Hollywood has been rocked by lost feature-film production. Despite a 30 percent rise in overall production, the value of productions in the U.S. has declined from $3.93 billion in 1998 to $3.38 billion in 2005, a statistic that when ripple effects throughout the economy are added in, the Center estimated has cost 47,000 jobs per year and $23 billion.

Where was Henry?

Over the same years, the Center wrote that “feature-film production in Canada grew from $430 million to $1.2 billion (179 percent). For the same period, production in the U.K. and Ireland increased from $486 million to $809 million (66 percent) … production in Australia and New Zealand rose from $113 million to $717 million (531 percent) … production in Eastern Europe jumped from $30 million to $308 million (927 percent).”

All that money should have stayed in the United States, and most of it should have stayed in California, most especially in Mr. Waxman’s district, which covers much of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica.

Where was Henry?

Runaway production should be my congressman’s biggest concern - but instead he continues to investigate the Bush administration. But that’s what his daffy constituents elect him for, year in and year out. There’s nothing a selfish, vain, vindictive and spoiled Hollywood liberal likes to hear more than to hear conservatives are to blame for everything.

During Mr. Waxman’s 35-year tenure, Hollywood has not just shipped countless jobs overseas, it has become the ultimate outsourced industry. Films are invariably financed by foreign countries: Russians, Saudis, French and Germans, to name but a few guilty parties, now dictate the content of what many consider the DNA of American culture.

Where was Henry?

Ever wonder why the white American businessmen are always the bad guys and radical Islamists almost never are? More money is now made from foreign than domestic box office.

As a result, Hollywood now crafts its moral, ethical and political messages to assuage external sensibilities. Our top films are now premiered and showcased abroad, and standing ovations for anti-American films by elite festivalgoers in San Sebastian, London, Cannes and Toronto grant Hollywood celebrities a distorted picture of America´s worth. These economic dynamics contribute to why “they all hate us.”

Where was Henry?

I blame him for allowing America to become a dirty word abroad.

In this generation of Democratic Party dominance in West Los Angeles, dissent from the idea that America is to blame for everything wrong in the world is considered anything but patriotic. Free speech and the free exchange of ideas are noble concepts long extinct in the one-party, politically correct (and corrupt) culture of Hollywood. Maybe another congressional subpoena hurled at Halliburton by the “scariest guy” in Washington can get to the crux of the problem.

Hopefully, new Republican Party chairman Michael S. Steele, who promised in his acceptance speech last week to take the Republican message places it hasn’t been taken previously, will see that in Mr. Waxman - a liberal Democrat who says all the right things but has done nothing to save jobs in his district - the Republicans have a fantastic poster child for the empty rhetoric of the modern Left.

Knock Henry A. Waxman out of a safe seat?

Yes, we can!

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