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Why I Turned Down Jerry Brown's Invitation to Honor Mexico's President

Why I Turned Down Jerry Brown's Invitation to Honor Mexico's President

In a few short months, I will be out of elected office. When I ran for Governor, I knew it was “win or go home.” So, I will soon be an ordinary citizen again–and soon enough, I too, will be ignored by those who pretend to represent me.  

Most of us did not need a poll to tell us that we have virtually no voice and no impact on legislative and policy decisions. We have Jerry Brown as our governor; we live it every day.  

In spite of hundreds of protests, hundreds of thousands of petition signers at WhiteHouse.Gov, and millions of ordinary Americans demanding the release of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, our voices have fallen on deaf ears in Washington D.C., Sacramento and Mexico City.   

Neither President Obama, Gov. Jerry Brown, nor the President of Mexico have spoken publicly about this great injustice.  

When I received the invitation (see below) to attend a luncheon with Gov. Jerry Brown and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, I couldn’t believe it.

Gov. Brown and a number of legislators, including Republican Rocky Chavez recently visited Mexico, but not one of them publicly raised the issue of the return of imprisoned U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, There’s no way I’d ever break bread with his captors unless the only topic of discussion was negotiating his release. 

You can read my letter, declining the invitation, below:

Sgt. Tahmooressi apparently made a wrong turn on March 31st of this year, and has paid for this mistake with the loss of his freedom for almost 6 months.  

On Tuesday, August 26th, I will be joined by hundreds of Americans who refuse to be silent while our governor and a majority of those who were elected to represent California refuse to speak out on behalf a fellow California citizen.  

To their credit, my Republican colleagues have not been silent.  A letter and an Assembly Joint Resolution authored by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, and signed by almost every Republican Assemblyman and State Senator, calling on the President of the United States to exert all pressure to secure Tahmooressi’s release, was put forth in the past few weeks.  

Unfortunately, the Republicans as a rule are afraid to pick a fight most of the time.  

Remember when the Democrats in Congress gave President Vicente Fox a standing ovation as a protest of SB1070, the Arizona immigration law?  

You have to hand it to the Democrats, they’re never afraid to take a stand, no matter how extreme.  

This one is a no-brainer. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi never complained about putting his life in harm’s way for our freedom. It’s time we take a stand for him. No apologies, no equivocation.  

Our governor must represent all Californians, even the legal ones, on every issue. On this issue, there is only one side. Our Governor must publicly demand the release of our Marine from the President of Mexico, or he is not worthy to be the governor of the greatest state in this great country. 

We’re Americans. And failing our Marine is not an option. What are you willing to do to guarantee his freedom?

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