Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript to California Assemblyman David Hadley’s talk at the Freedom Center’s 2015 West Coast Retreat. The event was held March 6-8 in Palos Verdes, CA.
Well thank you, everybody. Thanks for giving me a few minutes, and thank you to David Horowitz and the Freedom Center for giving me this opportunity. I’m really honored to be addressing this gathering. And I want to give a special thank you to my dear friends Miriam and Ben Landau who arranged for me to join this evening. And I do not know any more committed fighters for freedom than Miriam and Ben.
So being given five minutes – and I promised Mike I would stick to the schedule – focuses the mind. And it’s encouraged me to try to sum up the essence of the battle that I think you and I are engaged in. So I’m gonna do four things very quickly. I’m gonna introduce myself, tell you why I think I was given the opportunity to talk tonight, summarize what I think the fight really is, and then with the Freedom Center’s permission, I might ask you for a little help.
So just quickly about me, prior to my election in November I was already the luckiest guy in the world. I was born the fifth of six kids in a middle class family in Fullerton, and if you fast forward to last year, I had been happily married – I’m still am happily married – to my wife Suzanne for 22 years, I have four healthy teenage kids. My son, Jack, is a second-year cadet at West Point. And I have three daughters, Claire, Ellen and Faith. Claire is going to William and Mary on a gymnastics scholarship, and Ellen and Faith are going to be far more expensive for me to educate than the first two.
I started my own business 16 years ago, and I’ve lived in Manhattan Beach for 19 years. And for those of you who know Manhattan Beach, it’s one of the very few places on the planet that compares with where we are today.
Until November I hadn’t been involved in anything politically since college. To summarize a very long story, the week Obamacare passed in 2010, I told my business partners I was gonna spend 20 percent of my time on politics. Three years later I was the chairman of the local Republican Party, and I became a candidate for the assembly because I was an unsuccessful candidate recruiter for the assembly. This wasn’t exactly my idea.
Let me quickly summarize why I think I was given the podium for a few minutes. L.A. County is the largest county in the country – 10 million people. In the US Congress, in the California State Senate, and in the California State Assembly, I’m the only Republican who represents the district 100 percent in L.A. County.
I defeated a Democratic incumbent, which had not been done for 20 years, in a district that leans Democratic. I helped end the Democrats’ two-thirds super majority in the state legislature, and I represent a district that, as Mike said, has not sent a Republican to Washington or Sacramento since the 1990’s. But that’s why I think I got my five minutes.
I know I have very little time, so I’m going to summarize and try to crystalize the fight. Our politics is fundamentally a struggle between those who thank God every day that they were either born in this country or made their way to this country. And, on the other hand, those who are so obsessed and focused with the shortcomings of this country that, as one candidate famously said, they wanna fundamentally transform it.
We have no lack of flaws in the United States, and we should never be complacent about doing better. You know, our founders in the preamble to the Constitution, the goal they set was to form a more perfect union. They knew perfection was impossible, but they knew that we could always do better. But I’m committed to improving the country by relying on the genius and the traditions that have made the United States the greatest country in the world. That doesn’t mean being complacent about out shortcomings, but it means remembering how we got here and why we are what we are today, and why we are so lucky and so blessed to be in the United States. And that is a majority view in this country. Except for, you know, the students at UC Irvine, most Americans know how lucky they are to be here. We just aren’t very effective in portraying the choice in the way that they need to understand it and make it.
So I’m gonna fight to improve our union in a manner consistent with the genius and the traditions of this country, and I’m gonna resist the siren call of transformation. And, finally, I don’t want to be an ungrateful guest, so I’ll only do this with the permission of the Freedom Center: I do need a ton of help. The primary help I’d like tonight, for those of you who are willing to give it, is your contact information. If anybody wants to do more than that, I can help you do more than that. But I am the number one target in the state of California. the stories I could tell you about the indignities I’m already suffering in Sacramento would take a lot more than five minutes. So if anybody’s wanting to give me their contact information, and if it’s okay with the Freedom Center, I’ll take it. And I really appreciate the time tonight, and I’m gonna be here for as long as Mike and the host let me stay.
Thank you very much.
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